Indigenous Remote Radio is a casualty of the election. Labor Shadow Minister for Regional Communications Stephen Jones made a commitment for $7 million for regional indigenous communications to improve the capacity of Remote Indigenous radio, during a visit to Black Star in May. The commitment would have had a significant positive impact on Indigenous Remote Services like Black Star. They will be without funding to improve the capacity of the Remote Indigenous Media Services unless the government makes a similar pledge.
Whilst we appreciate the visit by Senator Pat Dodson and the Labor Party’s commitment to Indigenous radio broadcasting, when its all said and done, it’s just another day, the sun came up and we now look forward to working with the member for Leichart Warren Entsch, and the new Minister for Indigenous Affairs and the Coalition Government.
Remote broadcasting services are a key part of the “Closing the Gap” strategies, of getting Kids to School, Safer Communities, Education, and Health Services. They are a primary level of service to remote community people and it is so important that these messages are increased and we don’t lose momentum on “Closing the Gap” as we all work towards making life better, in every way for our brothers sisters and families on remote communities.
Just as the Prime Minister so effectively used “broadcasting media” as an effective tool, to get his message out, so can Indigenous Radio play an enormous part. For too long it has continued to be overlooked and under-recognised for the important work it does in working with government and in delivering information to remote communities.
To borrow a line from the Prime Minister “now is not the time” to turn our backs on remote Indigenous broadcasting.
Before we can fully utilise our radio remote services, we need to “close the gap” in resources, particularly in the Remote Indigenous Media Hubs, or RIMO’s, like QRAM, which provide essential support to stations in small communities and towns.
Labor’s commitment of $7 million would have gone a long way towards building more and efficient capacity into remote broadcasting technology and innovation. $7 Million is not a large amount in the scheme of a national budget. Surely.