Five years since the last GLBT radio stations went off the air in Sydney, a new group has emerged to try to claim a spare radio frequency.
Queer Community Media Inc. (QCMI) has applied to the Australian Communications and Media Authority for the broadcasting frequency 100.5 FM.
QCMI is one of only two groups tendering for the radio position, calling its station Radio Q. The other tender has been made by 2RPH, a station for the print handicapped, which is currently on the AM frequency.
David Hamilton, the president of QCMI, set up the group in May with a view to establishing a new radio station for Sydney’s GLBT community. He soon discovered the 100.5 FM frequency was available.
Applications for the radio spot closed on Friday, and a decision is expected to be made on the winning tender within the next six months.
Hamilton says while he believes Sydney’s queer community is well served by the print media, there is a void in terms of broadcast media.
We looked into the community allocations in the past with Free FM, Wild FM and Out FM, and we could see there was a massive gap as far as media goes in the GLBT community, he says.
Radio is a huge resource and, at a time like this, we need it. Sydney is the gay capital of Australia, but we are at a point people are leaving Oxford Street nightclubs and running to cabs because they’re afraid of violence, and we have medical groups calling STD rates among our community at epidemic levels.
A GLBT radio station could add a whole new dynamic as a contact point for getting a message out there, not only to the gay community, but also to the wider community.
QCMI plans to use the success of Melbourne’s JOY FM queer radio station as the model on which to base Radio Q. JOY plays great music, but it also incorporates many other things and is responsible to its community, Hamilton says.
At this point, we would like to get in touch with some of the people involved in the old Wild and Free stations. They had such great experience in this market, and would be a real addition on top of what we already have in place.
The website for QCMI’s radio station is at www.radioq.com.au.