Perth community TV in peril

Access 31, Perth’s only community television station, looks set to disappear from the airwaves at the end of this month.

Access 31, will hold an emergency meeting on June 27 to determine its future. Unless the station accesses major new funding and broadcasts in digital, liquidators have said they will close down the studios.

The station is run by volunteers and produces local programs including Wake Up! WA, The Couch and Sweet & Sour.

The closure of Access 31 will see the end of community television in Western Australia, a fate likely to be expected by other community stations in the country. Access 31 has been broadcasting from its Belmont studios since 1999.

The Australian Community Television Alliance (ACTA) was established in March to lobby the new Federal Government over representation, funding and inclusion in digital broadcasting.

Source: Access 31

3 Responses

  1. I wonder if anyone will notice if it goes off air! I live in Perth and I can tell you its really the problem. None of the locally made programmes are original or worthy of primetime viewing (sweet and sour is a cheap beauty and the beast, the couch is a cheap Kerri Ann hosted by the most obese man I’ve ever seen on TV) The broadcast sound and vision is worse than tv from the early 1950’s. Most of the old movies are played with the audio out of synch.

  2. This is really sad to see, community television deserves access to the digital spectrum! It’s not always the most quality television sure, but it represents many of the groups in our society that are just plain forgotten by mainstream media – is it fair to give those groups a kick in the face and say they aren’t worthy of being represented in the media.

  3. This, sadly, is the beginning of the end for the community TV sector in this country.

    This is the same sector that has given us not only many new faces on TV (Rove, Andy and Hamish, Georgi Quill just to name a few), but it has given TV networks far more people behind the scenes. The Today show office in Melbourne is largely made up of people who worked at C31 Melbourne. Channel Seven’s Broadcast Centre in Melbourne has a large group of people who use to work at C31 Melbourne.

    In many TV production companies, there are one, two or three people who started their careers with community TV

    It will be a sad day for the whole TV industry when the community TV sector goes -not only will the voice of minority groups and communities be lost but the nurturing ground of many of today’s TV professionals will also be lost.

    Of course digital broadcasting will help address this situation but also a better funding/revenue raising model is also required. The community TV sector gets no money from the federal government despite the role that community TV plays – especially in the area of multicultural broadcasts now that SBS has become a defacto commercial network.

    As a sad day and I fear the beginning of the end of a very valuable component of our industry.

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