The Victorian Government will provide key funding to ensure that community television station Channel 31 (C31) – which has programs in 30 languages, including Greek – can continue to provide a vital communication service through the coronavirus crisis and beyond.
Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley on Tuesday confirmed the awarding of a $120,000 grant, which will support C31 in transitioning to a digital model.
The move came after lobbying from the Victorian Government, the City of Melbourne and a range of community groups led to the Commonwealth Government extending the station’s broadcast licence into Melbourne and Geelong for a final 12 months.
Additional support will also come via advertising investment from the Victorian Government, helping to make sure important information reaches all Victorians – particularly during coronavirus.
Since coronavirus restrictions came into force in March, Channel 31’s audience has soared by almost a quarter as many turned to religious services, seniors exercise classes, educational programs and other content during isolation.
READ MORE: Hard times for community network Channel 31
C31 reaches 660,000 viewers each month and broadcasts 100 shows a week, the bulk of which are made with the help of the station’s 1,000 volunteers.
“Community television is an important and highly valued service, particularly for members of Victoria’s diverse multicultural, disability and LGBTIQ communities,” Mr Foley said.
“As we continue to face the impacts of coronavirus and life with restrictions, access to information and home-based entertainment is more important than ever – especially for vulnerable Victorians.
“For many in our community Channel 31 is a lifeline and this is an important investment in its future.”
READ MORE: Help save Channel 31 from closure