5THE-FM secures radio future

5THE-FM secures radio future

The revival of Millicent community radio station 5THE-FM has been endorsed by a Federal Government agency with the awarding of a five year broadcasting licence.

Just over 18 months ago, the station had significant debts and had been stripped of its broadcasting licence by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) due to issues relating to the former management.

However, ACMA has been satisfied that all is now in order at the community-driven group under the new management regime which took charge in 2022.

5THE-FM has been housed in the former Millicent radio station for over 30 years.

The five year licence is the maximum period which can be granted by ACMA.

Last December, ACMA called for applications for the Millicent community broadcasting licence, which uses the 107.7 FM frequency.

5THE-FM has been providing broadcasts to the Millicent region on a temporary licence since June and was the sole applicant for the five year licence.

ACMA member Creina Chapman said in its application 5THE-FM made a commitment to build a sustainable on-air service with strong governance structures.

“Community radio provides an important platform for local voices and issues,” she said.

“Over the last 10 months 5THE-FM has demonstrated that it is committed to the Millicent community and is providing local programming on the 107.7 frequency.

“5THE-FM currently has a healthy membership base and is looking to increase volunteer participation in the station.

“We look forward to 5THE-FM delivering on the ambitions set out in its application for more local content and community participation.”

As a coincidence, the ACMA announcement last week came only a few days after the resumption of regular ethnic programming on 5THE-FM after an absence of several years.

Filipino music is now played on 5THE-FM each Tuesday night with hosting duties undertaken by two local women who were born in the Philippines.

The ACMA decision has been welcomed by 5THE-FM chairman David Walshaw

He said this news befits and rewards the large amount of challenging work put in by all of the station volunteers.

Mr Walshaw said they have worked tirelessly both off and on air to resurrect the station.

“They have brought the operations of 5THE-FM up to a very impressive level of technical and operational performance and we thank them for their incredible efforts,” Mr Walshaw said.

“To all our members, listeners, guests, and sponsors who have supported us along this journey, we salute and thank you for the trust and confidence you have placed in us to deliver great music and community-based content to your businesses, workplaces, and homes, we could not have done it without your support.

“On the back of this announcement by the ACMA, our commitment to our listening community, our 5THE-FM sponsors and members is that we will never rest on our laurels, over the next five years and beyond.

“We will continue to strive to grow the station and its content through identifying emerging trends in community broadcasting.

“5THE-FM will shortly be announcing a small celebratory event at the station for all our members, sponsors and intending members.”

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