The Morrison Government will provide C31 Melbourne with a 12-month extension of its spectrum licence to assist them in finalising the transition to online delivery of its services by 30 June 2021.
This decision was made following the commitment of financial support by the Andrews’s Government to assist Channel 31 Melbourne (alongside the rest of the Victorian arts industry) to survive the financial impacts of COVID-19 and ensure the sustainability of the station ongoing.
This decision is welcomed by the many staff, producers, and volunteers of the sector, who feared that it may be no longer past 11.59pm this Tuesday. This decision ensures that Community Television’s valuable contribution to the wider arts industry can continue into the new financial year and assists the sector in building its financial and digital capacity to continue broadcasting to audiences around the country.
Channel 31 Melbourne is looking forward to working closely with the Victorian Government to better integrate with its Victoria Together project, and provide further opportunities for content creators in Melbourne to share their stories online and represent Melbourne’s vulnerable communities on-air and online.
C31 General Manager Shane Dunlop says, “We’re grateful for the support of the Federal and Victorian State Governments that will allow our beloved station to make an eventual successful transition online, and are appreciative of their ongoing support of the arts industry.”
“We’re looking forward to using the next 12 months to continue to pivot our operations to focus on online broadcasting, and we look forward to working with producers and viewers to ensure that they can still create, distribute and access Community Television content, for many years to come.”
“The C31 staff and board would like to acknowledge the efforts of our wonderful producers and program makers over the last few months. We have also been overwhelmed by the showing of public support and are heartened by the collective resolve to fight for a positive outcome for Community Television in Victoria. Thank you.”