Labor is concerned at warnings from Vision Australia that it will be forced to close the majority of its radio services by the end of the year owing to disruption of its funding model, as well as cost pressures.
Equality of access to media is a fundamental human right and Vision Australia Radio provides a vital community service for Australians who are blind, low vision or have a print disability.
Vision Australia Radio relies on a mixture of Government funding, sponsorship and philanthropic donation, as well as volunteers, to operate its services. However changes to the NDIS and rising costs mean Vision Australia Radio can no longer sustain all of its radio services without additional support.
In July 2019, Labor’s Lisa Chesters MP wrote to key Government Ministers and moved a motion in Parliament calling on the Government to provide funding support to Vision Australia to continue their radio services.
Copies of Labor’s representations are available online:
- Lisa Chesters MP, Member for Bendigo – speech
- Michelle Rowland MP, Member for Greenway – speech.
- Patrick Gorman MP, Member for Perth – speech.
In August 2019, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland MP, met with Vision Australia who confirmed that ongoing funding uncertainty will force it to scale back its important services, and wrote to the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts requesting information on the steps that have been or will be taken by the Government to ensure that Vision Australia Radio can continue to deliver its essential services.
Australians living with blindness, low vision or a print disability have a right to media services that cater to their needs, and they deserve a Government that cares and gets to work on resolving the challenges in our community.