Sector Funding Trends

Australian community broadcasting is essentially self-funding. Government support remains at a modest level in comparison to total sector turnover, particularly when the value of volunteer input is recognised. 

The most recent Community Broadcasting Station Census survey of community radio stations (for the 20011-12 financial year) estimated that Australian Government funding to permanently licensed community radio stations via the CBF amounted to 10.4% of total revenue. Total government grant income formed 12.4% of total revenue.1 By comparison local business sponsorship provides 39.8% and subscriptions and donations 20.4%.

Yet government support remains a vital catalyst to sector development.  It supports the production of specialised program content (Ethnic, Indigenous & Radio for Print Handicapped) to meet community needs in the most cost-effective manner. It assists stations directly with transmission costs, training and capital development. CBF support for sector-wide projects such as the National Training Project, Amrap and CBOnline provides a further layer of indirect support.

In 2015/16 the Foundation received a total of $16.88 million in funding for the community broadcasting sector including:

  • $4.489 million in core (annual recurrent) funding for General, Indigenous, Ethnic and RPH community broadcasting;
  • $2.068 million in targeted funding for Ethnic community broadcasting, the CBOnline Project and the Community Radio Network satellite service;
  • $2.221 million in transmission support funding;
  • $0.663 million for the National Training Program;
  • $0.599 million for the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project
  • $3.154 million for Content Development including specialist support for Indigenous, Ethnic and RPH content development; and
  • $3.686 million for the Digital Radio Project.


Sector growth and funding trends

Community broadcasting sector growth and funding 2002/03 - 2011/12

Click to view enlarged image
Click to view enlarged image


This chart shows that since 2002/03:

  • the total level of Australian Government support2 has risen by almost $10 million;
  • the community broadcasting sector has grown by 10%;

1 Excluding Indigenous Broadcasting Program grants to Indigenous stations

2 Excludes funding provided for remote Indigenous broadcasting recapitalisation and development projects (the RIBS TV Transmitter Rollout and Indigenous Remote Radio Replacement Projects).