Community TV saved by the bell, on national TV

For the umpteenth time, the government stages another cliffhanger before giving community TV an extra year to do what it is told.

At the absolute last moment, a day before the axe fell, Minister Fletcher gave the community broadcasters in Melbourne and Adelaide a reprieve of another 12 months. It did not come in a spirit of generosity.

‘It’s been our policy since 2014, that these community television stations should move to operating in a digital mode’, he told the ABC’s Q+A program on Monday night. ‘And both channel 31 in Melbourne and Channel 44 in Adelaide have several times said yes, they’re going to make that transition. They have been extended several times. I’ve agreed now and we’ll be announcing it formally tomorrow to extend for further 12 months just for those both of those channels.’

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.