The Bendigo Advertiser reports: Steve Gibbons hopes Bendigo’s community radio stations will be able to retain their identity.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority proposed last August that Fresh FM, Phoenix FM and Central Victorian Gospel Radio share the 101.5 frequency used by Gospel Radio.
It proposed making the 89.5 frequency, used by the other two stations, available for ABC News Radio.

But Mr Gibbons, federal Labor MP for Bendigo, believes all community radio stations may be allowed to continue broadcasting, and that Bendigo may be able to receive a better reception of News Radio.

“The Australian Communications and Media Authority is in consultation with local community radio stations about the reallocation of broadcast frequencies,” he said.

“I understand that ACMA has now identified additional available frequencies that may allow all our existing community radio stations to continue broadcasting, as well as allocating a frequency to News Radio.

“Recent discussions with Minister Steve Conroy’s office give me hope that this could be a win-win outcome for community radio listeners, as well as those who would welcome better News Radio reception in Bendigo.

“News Radio performs an important democratic function by broadcasting sittings of the Federal Parliament, but community radio is a vital service for many people in regional Australia.”

Mr Gibbons said ACMA found, after a review and community outcry, that three other frequencies were available, eliminating the need for stations to share frequencies.

“If ACMA’s original proposals were adopted, they would have disadvantaged many people and interest groups in the central Victorian region who rely on community radio for information, entertainment and local news,” he said.