Funding support for local radio is vital

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society to thrive is essential in ensuring our community can prosper.

National blindness and low vision not-for-profit charity Vision Australia visited the region yesterday as part of advocacy efforts to source ongoing funding for their radio services.

The service gives people who are not only vision impaired the opportunity to experience the written word but also supports those from culturally diverse backgrounds to learn more about their local community and enables them to connect with their community in a more purposeful way.

The Shepparton broadcasting operations are one of 10 AM/FM stations across Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and regional Victoria, with more than 700,000 people listening to the content produced across the country each year.

Shepparton's broadcast provides readings from the Shepparton News twice a day, followed by other local newspapers in the afternoon.

Books, magazines and other printed resources and a variety of original programming is also produced from the Shepparton studio.

Due to changes in the funding received by disability support organisations following the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Vision Australia needs to secure $700,000 per year from the Federal Government to ensure the future of the service.

After 40 years of broadcasting nationwide and 19 years in Shepparton alone, the positives of this service cannot be ignored.

Sharing written media is something we strongly support due to our presence in the local community.

We need to ensure print is delivered to all who seek this form of news and the funding is once again provided by the Federal Government.

Supporting the vulnerable to feel included in our community is vital and something we emphasise in our reporting everyday.