Melbourne loses its Jewish Radio Station

June 14, 2011 by J-Wire Staff
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The Australian Communications and Media Authority has notified MJR Inc.(Melbourne Jewish Radio) that it would not renew its temporary community broadcasting licence for “Lion FM”. The station ceased broadcasting at midnight on Monday.

John Searle

ACMA have also announced that they do not intend to issue any further community broadcasting licences in Melbourne.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria’s President, John Searle said “the loss of the licence is very unfortunate”. He added: “It is devastating news for our community for whom the benefits of the licence were enormous. It provided not only a means of communication within our community but also a wonderful window through which information could flow to the wider community”.
Searle told J-Wire: “ACMA told us they would not renew the  licence because Melbourne had too many Community Radio Stations.”
Searle went on to say that “the JCCV is aware that at least two other groups had been formed (in addition to “Lion FM”), each with a view to either applying for the community broadcasting licence or being involved in community broadcasting. It would appear that the “fight for the licence” might have been a contributing factor in the ACMA decision, as clearly, ACMA did not see a unified community”.

He added:  “The JCCV is of the firm view that any attempt to regain a community broadcasting licence will be futile unless it can be demonstrated to ACMA that there is indeed one cohesive, representative body seeking the licence on behalf of the entire Jewish community.

To this end the JCCV has decided to facilitate discussions between all interested parties with a view to forming such a representative body and then initiating an attempt to regain the community broadcasting licence.”

The first meeting to consider an initiative to regain the licence has been called by the JCCV and will be held at 6.00 pm – 7.30 pm, 16 June, 2011 at Beth Weizmann Community Centre, 306 Hawthorn Rd, South Caulfield. All interested people are encouraged to attend.

Reports earlier this year revealed that the station had very members and was a closed shop….and that membership had not been granted to Victorian community leadership. Searle said: “Eventually the community leaders representing The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Zionist Council of Victoria and myself received membership. But a process which should have taken a couple of weeks too several months.”


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