The 2013 Federal Budget includes $2.7 million over four years to help communities in regional and remote Australia access an increased range of radio services on the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service.
“The VAST service is being deployed across Australia to provide digital television and radio services in remote and regional areas, replacing the Aurora satellite platform, which will cease transmission at the end of 2013,” the Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said.
VAST currently provides more than 90 radio services from the national, community and commercial broadcasters, an increase from the 65 radio services provided on the current Aurora satellite service.
“The funding of $2.7 million will assist community groups and local councils upgrade their radio transmission equipment so they can retransmit radio channels from the new VAST service,” Conroy said.
“Not only will this initiative continue important existing services, it will create opportunities for these communities to access a range of new radio services, such as the ABC’s digital-only radio channels: Dig, ABC Country, ABC Digital Extra, ABC Grandstand, and triple J Unearthed.”
This additional funding is on top of the $2.7 million the Government is providing to the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (AMRAP) over five years.
“AMRAP is a highly successful and important program that assists musicians and community broadcasters increase the amount of contemporary Australian music they put on air,” Conroy said.
“AMRAP also provides online resources for artists and produces and distributes radio content to promote Australian music.
“Supporting these types of initiatives is an important part of the Gillard Government’s plans to make Australia a stronger, smarter and fairer nation.”