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Radio 96.3FM Bundaberg - Investigation Report 1973

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  • pg 1
									Investigation Report No. 1973
File No.               2008/287

Licensee               Bundaberg Burnett Community Broadcasting Association Inc.

Station                96.3fm Bundaberg, Queensland

Type of Service        Community Radio

Relevant               Clauses 2.1(a), 2.3 and 7.4(b) of the Community Broadcasting
Legislation/Code       Codes of Practice 2002 and Clauses 5(3), 9(1)(b), 9(2)(b) and
                       9(2)(c) of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992


Investigation conclusion
The licensee of 96.3fm, Bundaberg Burnett Community Broadcasting Association
Inc:
• breached clause 9(2)(c) [participation] of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Services
    Act 1992
• did not breach clause 9(2)(b) [community interest] of Schedule 2 to the
    Broadcasting Services Act 1992
• did not breach clause 5(3) [record retention] of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting
    Services Act 1992
• did not breach clause 2.1(a) [violence] of the Community Broadcasting Codes of
    Practice 2002
• did not breach clause 7.4(b) [complaints handling] of the Community
    Broadcasting Codes of Practice 2002.




ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions
The complaint
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) received a complaint
on 31 January 2008 regarding 96.3fm, a temporary community broadcasting service in
Bundaberg, Queensland.

The complainant alleged that the licensee of 96.3fm, Bundaberg Burnett Community
Broadcasting Association Inc (the licensee):

1. broadcast material that incited violence during [X]’s Country Mix after 6pm on 13,
   20 and 27 October 2007
2. broadcast ‘offensive racist remarks’ and ‘sexist remarks’ perpetuating the ‘hatred
   of women’ during [X]’s Country Mix after 6pm on 13, 20 and 27 October 2007
3. did not respond to his letter of complaint dated 29 October 2007
4. does not keep a log of programs broadcast
5. broadcast advertisements during [X]’s Country Mix after 6pm on 13, 20 and 27
   October 2007
6. does not continue to represent the community interest
7. is not encouraging the community to participate in the operations and
   programming of the service.

The service
The licensee has been operating since 2002 under temporary community broadcasting
licences to serve the community interest of the general geographic area of the
Bundaberg RA2 Licence Area. At the time of the complaint, the temporary
community broadcasting licence was allocated on 15 February 2007 for the period 9
March 2007 to 8 March 2008.

Profile of Bundaberg RA2 Licence Area1

Bundaberg is located in the heart of a sugar and horticultural belt supported by a
manufacturing sector.

At the 2001 Census, the total population of the Bundaberg RA2 Licence Area was
56,345. Of this figure, 84.66% were born in Australia and 2.8% were Indigenous
people. The majority of the population were aged 15 years or over (78.27%), with
21.73% aged 14 years or under.

In 2001, 92.23% of the population spoke only English, with the main languages other
than English spoken at home being Italian (0.48%), German (0.24%), Tagalog
(0.15%), Chinese (0.14%) and Netherlandic (0.13%).




1
    Accessed from the Bundaberg Regional Council website (http://bucc.bundaberg.qld.gov.au) on 25
    June 2008.

ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                                          2
Assessment
The investigation is based on an assessment of submissions from the complainant and
the licensee. Information was also sourced from the licensee’s application of 16
December 2006 for a temporary community broadcasting licence for the period
covered by the complaint, as well as its application of 5 December 2007.

ACMA decided to investigate the complaint in relation to the licensee’s compliance
with relevant codes and licence conditions, as follows:

1. broadcast material that incited violence during [X]’s Country Mix after 6pm on 13,
   20 and 27 October 2007 – clause 2.1(a) of the Code
2. broadcast ‘offensive racist remarks’ and ‘sexist remarks’ perpetuating the ‘hatred
   of women’ during [X]’s Country Mix after 6pm on 13, 20 and 27 October 2007 –
   clause 2.3 of the Code
3. did not respond to his letter of complaint dated 29 October 2007 – clause 7.4(b) of
   the Code
4. does not keep a log of programs broadcast – clause 5(3) of Schedule 2 to the Act
5. broadcast advertisements during [X]’s Country Mix after 6pm on 13, 20 and 27
   October 2007 – clause 9(1)(b) of Schedule 2 to the Act
6. does not continue to represent the community interest – clause 9(2)(b) of Schedule
   2 to the Act
7. is not encouraging the community to participate in the operations and
   programming of the service – clause 9(2)(c) of Schedule 2 to the Act.

Issue 1: Whether the licensee broadcast material which may
        incite, encourage or present for their own sake
        violence or brutality

Relevant Code provision

Clause 2.1(a) of the Code provides:

       Community broadcasting licensees shall not broadcast material which may:

       (a) incite, encourage or present for their own sake violence or brutality

Complainant’s submission

The complainant submitted that the presenter ‘threatened the whole community by
broadcasting the fact that if anybody comes down to the station when he is on air, he
will bash their heads in’ during [X]’s Country Mix after 6pm on 13, 20 and 27
October 2007.




ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                              3
Licensee’s submission

The licensee was unable to provide copies of the broadcasts of [X]’s Country Mix of
13, 20 and 27 October 2007. However, it did provide copies of the presenter signing
in on the following dates:

13-10-07 Presenter – time not provided
20-10-07 Fill-in presenter – 5.45pm
27-10-07 Presenter – 6.55pm

The licensee also provided copies of the presenter’s play lists for 13 and 27 October
2007, but not 20 October as he did not broadcast on that day.

Finding

The licensee did not broadcast material which may have incited, encouraged or
presented for their own sake violence or brutality during [X]’s Country Mix after 6pm
on 13 and 27 October 2007. Accordingly, the licensee did not breach clause 2.1(a) of
the Code.

Reasons

The Code prohibits community broadcasting licensees from broadcasting material
which may incite, encourage or present for their own sake violence or brutality.

The Macquarie Dictionary (Fourth Edition) contains the following definitions:

       incite /in'suyt/ verb (t), incited, inciting. to urge on; stimulate or prompt to action.

       encourage /en'kurij, uhn-/ verb (t), encouraged, encouraging. 1. to inspire with
       courage, spirit, or confidence. 2. to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.

       present //pruh'zent/ verb, verb (t) […] 10. to bring before the mind; offer for
       consideration. 11. to set forth in words: to present arguments. […] 13. to direct, point,
       or turn to something or in a particular way. […]

       sake /sayk/ noun 1. cause, account, or interest: for my sake. 2. purpose or end: for the
       sake of appearances.

       violence /'vuyuhluhns/noun […] 2. rough or injurious action or treatment: to die by
       violence. 3. any unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights,
       laws, etc.; injury; wrong; outrage. 4. a violent act or proceeding. 5. rough or
       immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language; fury; intensity; severity.

       brutality /brooh'taluhtee/ noun, plural brutalities. 1. quality of being brutal. 2. a
       brutal act.

Thus, the Code prohibits licensees from broadcasting material for the purpose of
urging listeners to take unjust or unwarranted action.



ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                                        4
While the licensee was unable to provide copies of broadcasts for the specified dates,
it could be established that the presenter was broadcasting at the specified times on 13
and 27 October 2007. The question is whether the presenter’s statement, if it was in
fact broadcast, was done so for the purpose of urging listeners to take unjust or
unwarranted action.

The complainant claims that the presenter said ‘that if anybody comes down to the
station when he is on air, he will bash their heads in’. Context is important, however,
in the absence of a copy of the broadcasts, it would appear unlikely that the
presenter’s statement, if broadcast, would have been done for the purpose of urging
listeners to take unjust or unwarranted action. Rather, if broadcast, it may have
deterred listeners from visiting the station while the said presenter was on air.

Issue 2: Whether the licensee broadcast material which may
        stereotype, incite, vilify, or perpetuate hatred against,
        or attempt to demean any person or group on the
        basis of race or gender

Relevant Code provision

Clause 2.3 of the Code provides:

       Community broadcasting licensees shall not broadcast material which may
       stereotype, incite, vilify, or perpetuate hatred against, or attempt to demean any
       person or group on the basis of […] race, […] gender […]. The requirement is not
       intended to prevent the broadcast of material which is factual, or the expression of
       genuinely held opinion in a news or current affairs program, or in the legitimate
       context of a humorous, satirical or dramatic work.

Complainant’s submission

The complainant submitted that the licensee broadcast ‘offensive racist remarks’ and
‘sexist remarks’ perpetuating the ‘hatred of women’ during [X]’s Country Mix after
6pm on 13, 20 and 27 October 2007.

Licensee’s submission

The licensee was unable to provide copies of the broadcasts of [X]’s Country Mix of
13, 20 and 27 October 2007. However, it did provide copies of the presenter signing
in on the following dates:

13-10-07 Presenter – time not provided
20-10-07 Fill-in presenter – 5.45pm
27-10-07 Presenter – 6.55pm

The licensee also provided copies of the presenter’s play lists for 13 and 27 October
2007, but not 20 October as he did not broadcast on that day.



ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                                    5
Finding

It cannot be established whether the licensee broadcast material which may have
stereotyped, incited, vilified, or perpetuated hatred against, or attempted to demean
any person or group on the basis of race or gender during [X]’s Country Mix after
6pm on 13 and 27 October 2007. Accordingly, a finding cannot be made in relation to
clause 2.3 of the Code.

Reasons

The Code prohibits licensees from broadcasting material which may stereotype,
incite, vilify, or perpetuate hatred against, or attempt to demean any person or group
on the basis of a number of factors, including race or gender.

The Macquarie Dictionary (Fourth Edition) contains the following definitions:

       stereotype verb (t), stereotyped, stereotyping. […] 6. to characterise according to a
       conventional idea or concept.

       incite /in'suyt/ verb (t), incited, inciting. to urge on; stimulate or prompt to action.

       vilify verb (t), vilified, vilifying. 1. to speak evil of; defame; traduce […]

       perpetuate verb (t), perpetuated, perpetuating. to make perpetual; preserve from
       oblivion.

       hatred noun the feeling of one who hates; intense dislike; detestation.

       demean verb (t) to lower in dignity or standing; debase: […]

Thus, the Code prohibits licensees from broadcasting material that may characterise a
person or a group, including stimulating feelings of intense dislike or lowering the
dignity of a person or a group, by virtue of a number of factors such as race or gender.
However, the Code does not prevent the broadcast of material which is factual, or the
expression of genuinely held opinion in a news or current affairs program, or in the
context of a humorous, satirical or dramatic work.

While the licensee was unable to provide copies of broadcasts for the specified dates,
it could be established that the presenter was broadcasting at the specified times on 13
and 27 October 2007. The question is whether the presenter’s statements, if they were
in fact broadcast, were done so in a manner that characterised a person or a group,
including stimulating feelings of intense dislike or lowering the dignity of a person or
a group, by virtue of their race or gender.

The complainant claims that the presenter said that ‘we shouldn’t apologise to those
black bastards’ and that ‘people have rocks in their head for getting married, as all
women are evil and stupid and only after your money’. Context is important,
however, in the absence of a copy of the broadcasts, it is not possible to establish
whether the presenter’s statements, if broadcast, were done so in a manner that


ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                                        6
characterised a person or a group, including stimulating feelings of intense dislike or
lowering the dignity of a person or a group, by virtue of their race or gender.

The Code does not prevent the broadcast of material which is factual, or the
expression of genuinely held opinion in a news or current affairs program. [X]’s
Country Mix is neither a news nor a current affairs program. Further, the Code does
not prevent the broadcast of material which is done so in the context of a humorous,
satirical or dramatic work. In the absence of a copy of the broadcasts, it is not possible
to verify whether the statements were made in the context of a humorous, satirical or
dramatic work.

Issue 3: Whether the licensee conscientiously considered and
        responded to complaints as soon as practicable

Relevant Code provision

Clause 7.4(b) of the Code provides:

       Licensees will ensure that:
       […]
       (b) complaints will be conscientiously considered, investigated if necessary and
           responded to as soon as practicable

Complainant’s submission

The complainant provided ACMA with a copy of his complaint of 29 October 2007 to
the licensee and submitted that he ‘never received a response’ from the licensee.

Licensee’s submission

The licensee submitted that it did not receive the complaint of 29 October 2007.

Finding

The licensee did not breach clause 7.4(b) of the Code.

Reasons

Clause 7.4(b) requires a licensee to conscientiously consider a complaint, investigate it if
necessary and respond to it as soon as practicable. The complainant provided ACMA with a
copy of his complaint to the licensee. However, the licensee submitted that it had not received
the complaint. In the absence of documentary evidence to verify receipt of the complaint by the
licensee (such as a delivery receipt for registered mail or read receipt for an email), and as the
licensee has advised that it did not receive the complaint, it is not possible to establish that the
licensee did not comply with the code.




ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                                7
Issue 4: Whether the licensee retained a record of matter
        broadcast

Relevant licence condition

Clause 5(3) of Schedule 2 to the Act provides:

        Subject to this clause, a broadcaster must retain in his or her custody a record so made
        for a period of:
          […]
          (b) if a complaint has been made about the matter – for 60 days from the date on
          which the matter was broadcast;
        or for such longer period as the ACMA, in special circumstances, directs in writing.

Complainant’s submission

The complainant submitted that the licensee has ‘never ever logged any program’.

Licensee’s submission

The licensee did not make a submission in relation to this matter.

Finding

The licensee did not breach clause 5(3) of Schedule 2 to the Act.

Reasons

The complainant lodged his complaint of 29 October 2007 with the licensee about
broadcasts of [X]’s Country Mix after 6pm on 13, 20 and 27 October 2007. As such,
the licensee was obliged to retain a record of those broadcasts for 60 days from the
dates of broadcast, that is, till 12, 19 and 26 December 2007.

However, the licensee has advised ACMA that it did not receive the complaint.
Further, the complainant did not lodge his complaint with ACMA until 31 January
2008. Consequently, when requested to provide a copy of the relevant broadcasts, the
licensee was unable to meet this request.

Issue 5: Whether the licensee broadcast advertisements

Relevant licence conditions

Clause 9(1)(b) of Schedule 2 to the Act provides:

        Each community broadcasting licence is subject to the following conditions:
         […]
         (b) the licensee will not broadcast advertisements […]




ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                                     8
Complainant’s submission

The complainant submitted that the licensee broadcast advertisements during
broadcasts between 13 and 27 October 2007, as some sponsorship announcements
were not tagged.

Licensee’s submission

The licensee did not make a submission in relation to this matter.

Finding

It cannot be established whether the licensee broadcast advertisements between 13
and 27 October 2007. Accordingly, a finding cannot be made in relation to clause
9(1)(b) of Schedule 2 to the Act.

Reasons

As a copy of broadcasts between 13 and 27 October 2007 were not available, it is not
possible to verify whether the licensee broadcast advertisements.

Issue 6: Whether the licensee continues to represent its
        community interest

Relevant licence condition

Clause 9(2)(b) of Schedule 2 to the Act provides:

       Each community broadcasting licence is also subject to the following conditions:
        […]
        (b) the licensee will continue to represent the community interest that it represented
        at the time when the licence was allocated or was last renewed

Complainant’s submission

The complainant submitted that the licensee does not represent ‘the interest of the
community any more’.

Licensee’s submission

The licensee did not make a submission in relation to this matter.

Finding

The licensee continued to represent the community interest that it represented at the
time when the licence was allocated on 15 February 2007. Accordingly, the licensee
did not breach clause 9(2)(b) of Schedule 2 to the Act.



ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                                   9
Reasons

At the time of the complaint, the temporary community broadcasting licence was
allocated on 15 February 2007 for the period 9 March 2007 to 8 March 2008 to serve
the community interest of the general geographic area of the Bundaberg RA2 Licence
Area.

It is noted that Bundaberg is a sugar and horticultural area, with a manufacturing
sector, and that the majority of the population were born in Australia. Further, it is
noted that the majority of the population speak only English, with a large proportion
aged 15 years or over.

In light of the above characteristics of the general geographic area of Bundaberg, it
could be expected that the program schedule would contain programming of a broad
nature.

From the program schedule provided to ACMA with its application of 16 December
2006 for a temporary community broadcasting licence, it is evident that the licensee
was providing programming of a broad nature at the time of the complaint.

Issue 7: Whether the licensee is encouraging the community
        to participate in the operations and programming of
        the service

Relevant licence condition

Clause 9(2)(c) of Schedule 2 to the Act provides:

        Each community broadcasting licence is […] subject to the following conditions:
         […]
         (c) the licensee will encourage members of the community that it serves to
         participate in:
              (i) the operations of the licensee in providing the service or services; and
              (ii) the selection and provision of programs under the licence

Complainant’s submission

The complainant submitted that:

•   96.3 has the lowest human participation rate of any community station I have seen
•   it has declining membership, low meeting attendance, unattended office hours and a large
    number of timeslots lacking presenters and simply just play mp3 players on random
•   Country music is played 65% of the week. The community is not encouraged to
    participate in the station or programming
•   No ethnic groups are called to participate in the station, nor is the Aboriginal community
    allowed to have any airtime
•   There is no local news or events broadcast
•   The average presenter lifespan is 3-4 weeks, as most usually leave due to management’s
    bullying


ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                                   10
•   Management operates autonomously and does not entertain consultative processes with
    the community or with volunteers.

Licensee’s submission

The licensee submitted that:

•   There are 45 financial members who are all Volunteers. Since we have taken over, there’s
    been 65 members pass through this organisation. Some have left on their own (not what
    they thought it would be like). We have asked some to leave as they were not suited for
    the community radio
•   we have two committees – one is the Management Committee, which consists of the
    President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and the Publicity Officer. The other is the
    Ethnic Committee. The rest is ordinary members and presenters who can have their say at
    our monthly meetings
•   [program applications are considered by] the Management Committee, then it goes on to
    our monthly meetings
•   [programming is] all sourced locally
•   [as no program applications have been received], no changes were made and the members
    of this community radio station offered no suggestions.

Finding

The licensee was not encouraging members of the community it is licensed to serve to
participate in the operations of the service and in the selection and provision of
programs under the licence at the time relevant to this investigation. Accordingly, the
licensee was in breach of clause 9(2)(c) of Schedule 2 to the Act.

Reasons

The issue to be assessed is whether the licensee complied with the licence condition to
encourage members of the community in the general geographic area of the
Bundaberg RA2 Licence Area to participate in its operations and programming at the
time relevant to this investigation. This issue has been assessed in relation to:

•   the operations of the service
•   the selection of programs
•   the provision of programs.

The time relevant to this investigation is October 2007, when the complaint was first
made to the licensee and which falls within the temporary community broadcasting
licence period from 9 March 2007 to 8 March 2008.

Operations of the service

One of the principal ways in which community broadcasting licensees can encourage
members of the community to participate in the operations of the service is through
membership. This is because membership of a station enables members of the
community to:

ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                                   11
•   participate in decision-making in relation to the operations and programming of
    the service
•   receive notice of, attend and vote at meetings
•   nominate and stand for membership of the board and committees
•   propose items of business for general meetings.

It is noted that in its application of 5 December 2007 for a temporary community
radio broadcasting licence, the licensee stated:

       We offer training to the broader community to become presenters or to become
       involved in the administration and running of the station. We also promote and
       participate in many community functions, festivals, fetes, etc. to promote our
       activities and services. A lot of positive feedback has been received from our
       presence at these activities.

However, when requested to do so in the context of this investigation, the licensee did
not demonstrate that it has strategies to attract and retain members or that it conducts a
range of activities to encourage membership and participation in the operations of the
service. No examples were provided to show how the station had given information to
members of the general community to encourage them to become members, for
example, a copy of a station announcement or a brochure, inviting people in the
community to become members and explaining some of the benefits were they to do
so.

The licensee also did not provide evidence to demonstrate the success or otherwise of
any efforts to encourage the community to become members so that they can
participate in the operations of the service. While it has indicated that it currently has
45 financial members, it was not possible to ascertain whether this represents an
increase or decline over previous years. The licensee has also submitted that since it
took over the operations of the service in 2005, 65 members have passed through the
organisation, an average of 22 per year. This represents about a 50% turnover of the
current 45 financial members. The licensee also did not provide any figures to
indicate the number of applications received each year, nor the numbers approved and
rejected.

The licensee also submitted that its 45 financial members are all volunteers. However,
there is no evidence to indicate that members of the community are encouraged to
participate in the operations of the service as volunteers who are non-financial
members.

Further, there is no evidence of attendance at meetings, for example, by providing
minutes of meetings, which would have highlighted consultative processes at work in
the decision-making of the organisation.

Therefore, the licensee was not encouraging people in the general geographic area of
the Bundaberg RA2 Licence Area to participate in the operations of the service at the
time relevant to this investigation.



ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                              12
Selection of programs

Licensees are also required to encourage members of the community to participate in
the service through the selection of programs provided under the licence. This
recognises that involving the community in the selection of programs promotes
community access and diversity of programming, particularly material of local
significance. Licensees are more likely to meet this requirement if decisions about
program selection are made collectively, for example, by a programming committee
that can receive applications for programming, make decisions collectively on
programs that reflect the community interest, prepare a program schedule and
negotiate with applicants.

The licensee has two committees – a Management Committee of five members and an
Ethnic committee, but it does not have a programming committee. Program
applications are considered by the Management Committee, which makes
recommendations to monthly meetings. It is unclear whether the same members as
those on the Management Committee then decide on the recommendations at the
monthly meetings.

The licensee submitted that it did not receive any program applications in the period
relevant to this investigation. In addition, no suggestions for program changes or new
programs were received. However, the licensee did not indicate whether or how it
encouraged the community to participate in the selection of programs, through
avenues such as listener surveys and feedback forms to ascertain community needs.
There was also no evidence to demonstrate that the licensee actively sought input into
program selection from community groups, listeners and presenters.

Therefore, the licensee was not encouraging people in the general geographic area of
the Bundaberg RA2 Licence Area to participate in the selection of programs provided
by the service at the time relevant to this investigation.

Provision of programs

Another important way in which community broadcasting licensees can encourage
members of the community to participate in the service is through the provision of
programs. A community broadcasting service is generally one that provides
programming not only for its community but by its community.

In its application of 5 December 2007 for a temporary community radio broadcasting
licence, the licensee stated:

       This organisation caters for the diverse interests and needs of the local community
       and there is a need to continue to provide access to information about lifestyle,
       employment help, health, leisure and other support services as well as community
       events and social activities.
       […]
       We provide a wide variety of programs to cater for the many cultures and age groups
       in our community including Filipino, Dutch, Samoan, Irish, Scottish and German.



ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                               13
       With the ageing population, we feel there is a need to provide entertainment and
       information suitable to that group. As a person becomes older, the more comfortable
       they are with “themes” from the past and with programs that they see as their “local
       friend”. We also provide easy listening music plus rock ‘n’ roll, pop and country.

       We also cater for the disabled sector of the community by providing a program
       presented by people with a disability. Carinbundi, which is a respite centre and
       disability support service, now has a permanent two-hour spot on Sunday mornings
       with the assistance of a coordinator.

Based on the program schedule provided to ACMA by the licensee in December
2007, about 65% of the programming is music-based. 15% of programs include ethnic
and training programs, and 20% is satellite programming from the Community Radio
Network. Therefore, music-based programming appears to be predominant in a
service that is provided to meet the needs of the general community of the Bundaberg
RA2 Licence Area.

Of the 65% music-based programs, genres included:

              easy listening                   swing
              Scottish                         fifties and sixties
              Country                          Rock
              jazz/blues/big bands             old time
              golden oldies                    alternative

Country music represents less than 20% of the weekly program schedule.

The licensee indicated that 24 of its 45 current financial members are program
presenters, however, it was not possible to verify this from the weekly program
schedule. It was evident, however, that there were vacant timeslots and therefore
scope for the inclusion of additional programming.

The licensee submitted that all the programming was sourced locally, however, from
the copies of playlists provided, it did not appear that this was possible. Thus, from
the available evidence, the licensee appears to be providing programming for its
community but not by its community.

Consequently, the licensee was not encouraging people in the general geographic area
of the Bundaberg RA2 Licence Area to participate in the provision of programs
provided under the licence at the time relevant to this investigation.

In response to the preliminary breach finding, the licensee submitted the following on
3 August 2008:

•   a CD labelled ‘C.S.A.’, containing community service announcements about
    matters such as cyclone warnings, road safety and effects of smoking; it also
    contained numerous CB Online announcements, including about matters such as
    the benefits of community broadcasting, the value of becoming a volunteer, and
    the career opportunities provided by training with community broadcasters


ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                                14
•   two weekly program schedules labelled ‘1st June 2007’ and ‘1st October 2007’
•   a copy of the roster for the program, Disability Chill Out, from 3 August to 28
    December
•   copies of 10 notices from its community file, eight of which state:

       If you are a non-profit organisation and would like to have your message included in
       our community files, please send it in writing to: Community Files, 96.3fm, PO Box
       7245, Bundaberg 4670.

•   copies of pages from its visitors book, including comments made by visitors
    between 3 April 2004 to 21 May 2008
•   script of an announcement seeking sponsorship for the station
•   copies of flyers for a Girls Night In on 2 August 2008 and a Car Boot Sale on 17
    August 2008, as well as a pamphlet for Operation Uplift to raise money for breast
    cancer awareness.

In its covering letter, the licensee’s comments included that it:

•   broadcasts on Anzac Day from 6am to 9am for soldiers who are unable to march
    with their mates
•   conducts interviews with Wide Bay Volunteers twice a month when the
    community is notified of coming events
•   arranges old time dances twice a year and looks after the gates at the Annual
    Bundaberg Show
•   runs a food stall and hands out membership forms, station leaflets and program
    schedule at those events
•   promotes country music artists when they bring their shows to the Burnett
    Bowling Club in Bundaberg
•   has promoted the station by doing a letterbox drop around the Bundaberg and Gin
    Gin areas
•   participates in Volunteer Week, as it is a member of Wide Bay Volunteers, and
    hands out programs and leaflets on what the station does for the community
•   has an ongoing arrangement where it provides training in office work and
    presenting when Wide Bay Volunteers sends clients to the station
•   promotes local events and broadcasts community service announcements for non-
    profit organisations
•   has foundation sponsors such as Luxfield Communications, The Bugle Newspaper
    and Wide Bay Volunteers
•   does lose presenters, however, new members join who are then trained to become
    presenters or office workers
•   has increased its membership, which has not declined
•   has a lot of listeners, for example, from the retirement villages
•   uses the MP3 player when someone is unable to present their scheduled program
    and a replacement cannot be found
•   plays 15% country music a week and not 65% [the preliminary report refers to
    music-based programs being 65%, with country music representing less than 20%]
•   calls on ethnic groups to participate in the station, for example, Filipino, Dutch,
    German, Scottish, Irish etc

ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                                15
•   has more people attending meetings who freely express their opinions
•   has an office and the secretary is mostly there during office hours, however, if she
    is not available, the presenter at the time would answer any questions
•   has listeners phone in all the time for requests.

It is noted that the licensee has in place some actions to encourage participation by the
community, such as handing out membership forms, station leaflets and program
schedule at community events, doing a letterbox drop around the Bundaberg and Gin
Gin areas, and handing out programs and leaflets on what the station does for the
community in Volunteer Week. However, copies of membership forms, station
leaflets and the letterbox drop were not provided.

The announcements on the CD about matters such as the benefits of community
broadcasting, the value of becoming a volunteer, and the career opportunities
provided by training with community broadcasters were also noted. However, there is
no evidence of when and how often these were broadcast by the station. In addition,
they were generic announcements from CB Online and not specific to the station,
including contact details for CB Online rather than the station. The announcements
also contained voiceovers by people such as Rove McManus, Roger Climpson, Peter
Overton, Sandy Roberts and Mike Bailey. While this in itself is positive, it would
have been preferable to tailor such announcements to include local personalities.

None of the above actions is sufficient to warrant a change in the preliminary view, as
they do not demonstrate that the licensee was encouraging people in the general
geographic area of the Bundaberg RA2 Licence Area to participate in the operations
of the service and in the selection and provision of programs provided under the
licence at the time relevant to this investigation.




ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
conditions                                                                             16
DECISION
I, Phyllis Fong, Manager, Community Allocations and Information Section, National
Licensing and Allocations Branch, being the appropriate delegated officer of the
Australian Communications and Media Authority, determine for the above reasons
that the licensee of 96.3fm, Bundaberg Burnett Community Broadcasting Association
Inc:
• breached clause 9(2)(c) [participation] of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Services
    Act 1992
• did not breach clause 9(2)(b) [community interest] of Schedule 2 to the
    Broadcasting Services Act 1992
• did not breach clause 5(3) [record retention] of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting
    Services Act 1992
• did not breach clause 2.1(a) [violence] of the Community Broadcasting Codes of
    Practice 2002
• did not breach clause 7.4(b) [complaints handling] of the Community
    Broadcasting Codes of Practice 2002.




Signed:        -------------------------------------------------
               Phyllis Fong


Dated this 12th day of August 2008.




ACMA Investigation Report – 96.3fm Bundaberg – Compliance with codes and licence
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