craCRA release: Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner, today welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Victorian Government, making commercial radio stations official broadcasters of emergency services information.

“The MoU represents a useful complement to the Commercial Radio Code of Practice 8 which contains commercial broadcasters’ obligations in relation to the broadcasting of emergency services information,” Ms Warner said.

“The commercial radio industry welcomes the MoU with the Victorian Government which now means commercial radio stations will act as official emergency broadcasters in times of emergency and crisis and will also now have direct access to vital information from emergency services agencies.

“This is a sensible decision given commercial radio reaches around 80 per cent of Australians and plays a crucial role in helping disseminate information to local communities in times of emergency.”

Ms Warner said the industry had argued for some time for commercial radio to be included and promoted as an official provider of information in emergencies, along with the ABC.

While the industry was already bound by its Code of Practice to broadcast emergency information, Ms Warner said that commercial radio broadcasters were happy to be involved with the MoU, as it sets out procedures to be followed by both emergency services agencies and broadcasters in order to ensure that important information is broadcast to as many people as possible.

“Commercial radio stations are an integral part of many local communities around the country and stand ready, willing and able to assist these communities in times of emergency,” Ms Warner said.