ORANGE Community Radio 107.5FM may be forced to return its licence to the Australian Broadcasting Authority if a deal with a Sydney based country radio station, ‘Cool Country’, is not reached.
The station’s treasurer, Dennis Murphy, informed members two weeks ago that the station was insolvent and the accumulated debt could not be met.
At an extraordinary meeting tonight, members will decide whether to endorse a proposal from the ‘Cool Country’ radio station that would mean programs, written in Sydney, would be broadcast in Orange.
Local man Don Taylor, who has had a long association with community radio, says the move to centralised content was not in accordance with community radio principles.
“As I understand it, community radio involves local people in making local programming and I am worried that local content will be impossible if programs are sent up from Sydney,” he said.
“Maybe the best thing for the station to do is to hand the licence back.”
According to the Australian Broadcasting Authority’s licensing requirements, community radio stations must provide programs for community purposes and “are not operated for profit or as part of a profit-making enterprise”.
The ABA’s media and public relations manager, Donald Robertson, said the ABA had contact with Orange Community Radio and had sent it the relevant material to help members make a decision.