Two more community radio stations have become official emergency broadcasters in time for the bushfire season, Minister for Emergency Services Bob Cameron announced today.
Visiting Stereo 974 FM in Brooklyn and Plenty Valley FM today, Mr Cameron said the stations will become emergency broadcasters in a further bid to boost emergency messaging to communities in times of need.
Mr Cameron said the agreements are similar to the MOUs in place between the emergency services, community broadcaster UGFM – Radio Murrinidindi, commercial radio networks, ABC local radio and Sky News TV.
“Stereo 974 FM and Plenty Valley FM are both committed to providing official emergency information to all communities in their areas, no matter the emergency, and the Brumby Labor Government is proud to partner with them in having this historic MOU signed,” Mr Cameron said.
“Both stations have a strong history of serving their respective communities and our Government is proud to have worked with the local communities to harness the great local work they do to help keep the community safer.
Mr Cameron said while all radio stations have access to emergency information, under the new agreement, Stereo 974 FM and Plenty Valley FM will break into programming to broadcast emergency warnings at the request of the emergency services, and move to continuous coverage in some circumstances.
Stereo 974 FM broadcasts on 97.4 FM to the western suburbs of Melbourne, including Brooklyn, Sunshine, Braybrook, and Footscray, while Plenty Valley FM transmits on 88.6 FM to high fire risk areas in the Nillumbik Shire Council and City of Whittlesea, including Eltham, North Warrandyte and areas of the Kinglake Ranges.
The Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner has invited all community broadcasters in Victoria to enter into emergency broadcasting MOUs, subject to their capabilities.
Acting Emergency Services Commissioner Joe Buffone said both stations will play a significant role in assisting the emergency services to alert local communities.
“Stereo 974 FM and Plenty Valley FM will assist their local areas by broadcasting local emergency warnings to the community as quickly as possible,” Mr Buffone said.
“Local information is critical to saving lives and during this Fire Action Week a week we are dedicated to educating Victorians about how to prepare, act and survive during a fire.”