Source and item from ACMA press releaseThe Australian Communications and Media Authority has decided not to renew the community radio broadcasting licence currently held by Cobar Community Radio Inc. (2HOT). The licence expired on 21 January 2008.

ACMA is charged with promoting the availability of a diverse range of radio services throughout Australia, as well as ensuring that broadcasters meet all their statutory obligations,’ said Chris Chapman, ACMA Chairman.

‘While the decision not to renew is never taken lightly and is no doubt understandably disappointing for the licensee and its listeners, it was arrived at after considerable deliberation and taking into account both those objectives.’

ACMA identified the 2HOTservice the licensee currently provides and the licensee’s ability to provide the service as areas of concern. Identifying the needs of the local community and providing a service that meets those needs is central to community broadcasting.

ACMA found that the licensee has not adequately identified the needs of the community and that the service provided by 2HOT does not adequately meet the needs of the Cobar licence area.

The licensee’s management capacity and ability to comply with licence conditions also concerned ACMA. Encouraging members of the community to participate in the operation of the service and providing sound corporate governance are essential requirements for community broadcasters. The licensee’s inability to meet legislative requirements has contributed to ACMA deciding to not renew the licence.

ACMA continues to be supportive of community broadcasting in the Cobar area and has made the 102.9 MHz available for temporary community broadcasting.

It has issued a six-month temporary community broadcasting licence to Cobar Community Radio Inc. which starts from today. If there are other interested community organisations in the Cobar licence area who also wish to apply for a temporary community broadcasting licence the frequency would be shared.