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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2016) . . Page.. 199 ..

As I mentioned earlier today, radio plays a broader role in the community. The medium is as flexible as it is dynamic, as personal as it is for the whole community, as entertaining as it is informative. Radio 1RPH, as you know, where I am involved as a volunteer, provides an essential service to a specific audience—those who have reading difficulties and disabilities. Other community radio stations have other specific audiences. My senior adviser is a volunteer at Canberra’s arts and music radio station, ArtSound FM, with a particular focus on local music and arts. They do not just play music. And there are other community radio stations operating in Canberra that provide valuable services to their specific communities of interest. 2XX, Canberra’s first community radio station, started in 1976 as a narrowcaster for the ANU campus but now is a respected broadcaster across Canberra. Valley FM in Tuggeranong is the voice of the valley. CMS radio caters to Canberra’s diverse multicultural community in their own languages, featuring music and news from their cultures. 1WAY FM broadcasts specifically on Christian themes for the community. Over the border, Queanbeyan FM’s motto is “The best of everything”; it features music stretching from classical to pop and rock.

Community radio stations hold a special place in our society. Not only do they provide services to their communities of interests but they provide opportunities for members of the community to be involved. In nearly all cases, presenters are volunteers, and there are volunteers who look after the myriad of other tasks associated with running a radio station, from technical to administration, promotion, training, maintaining libraries, and even cleaning.

There are also mainstream radios that fill Canberra’s homes, cars, caravans and headsets, including AM and FM commercial stations and various ABC offerings and SBS. All of these stations, including community radio stations, are very professional outfits requiring many specialist skills and a dedication and commitment that rival most other professions.

I tip my lid to our broadcast radio services. I congratulate them on the important service they provide to our community. It is a pleasure to recognise them so near to the UNESCO-endorsed World Radio Day.

Companion House

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Disability, Minister for Small Business and the Arts and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (5.37): I rise to speak about one of the most impressive community organisations operating in Canberra today, Companion House. Headquartered at the Cook community hub, Companion House is a non-profit community organisation that provides support for refugees and asylum seekers in Canberra.

The ACT government is strongly committed to supporting refugees settling in Canberra, unapologetically and enthusiastically. I know this is reflective of our city’s welcoming attitude to refugees and migrants more generally.

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