The future of Australian community TV was hotly debated in the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee today in Canberra. Senator for South Australia Senator Marielle Smith pictured above, questioned Department of Communications representatives as to why community TV will be switched off on June 30.
Despite assuring the public that he would work with community TV to effect a successful transition to an online model, federal Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher MP has declined multiple requests for meetings with C44 and C31 and even with Senator Marielle Smith herself.
Also, the Department of Communications representatives asserted multiple times today that community TV stations in other cities have transitioned to online-only models. This is NOT TRUE. Stations in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth were forced to close down due to much uncertainty around the short term license extensions, they have not transitioned online.