Just seven days until it was set to disappear forever from Australian television, community TV has been granted three more years of free-to-air broadcasting.
Driven by the political advocacy of Rebekha Sharkie MP, Senator Marielle Smith and Senator Rex Patrick, an amendment to broadcasting legislation has passed in the Australian Senate and House of Representatives, cementing community broadcasting licences for C44 Adelaide and C31 Melbourne until 30 June 2024.
It’s a welcome relief for C44 staff, volunteers, program makers, partners and audiences, whose support for community TV has been unwavering as the sector has been forced to fight each year since 2014 for annual six- and twelve-month reprieves.
A three-year commitment enables C44 to not only continue its commitment to local TV but build upon its thriving livestreaming and production activity, its flourishing university and creative industries partnerships providing skills and employment pathways for South Australian screen creators, and its development of new training opportunities for entry-level TV and digital screen creators.
C44 is Adelaide’s community media broadcaster, providing a free-to-air and online platform for local community groups and content creators.
Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie is excited about the development.
“I am delighted that Channel 44 will remain on-air until 2024,” she says.
“It was an eleventh-hour save with the Senate passing my amendment at 11pm last night and it follows weeks of persistent advocacy to the Government.”