RTRFM welcomes WA Labor funding pledge

Stock image.
Stock image.

MT LAWLEY radio station RTRFM 92.1 received some much-needed good news with the promise of State funding from WA Labor.

The station recently made some members of its small paid staff redundant because of the financial challenges it faces.

Station general manager Stuart MacLeod said RTR had struggled with big increases in costs caused by Federal policy changes.

“Over the last 12 months all community radio stations have had a massive hike in licensing fees; it has hit us hard,” he said.

“We have not relied on direct government support before because we never received any. It is difficult for us to get government funding because we are not technically an arts organisation, but we are undoubtedly one of the most loyal and dedicated supports of the arts.”

Mr MacLeod said the pledge of a $120,000 one-off grant came as a shock.

“Politicians from various parties have asked us over the years what they can do to help; my answer is always the same, we need financial support,” he said.

Labor candidate for Mt Lawley Simon Millman said RTR “helps young musicians and artists at the beginning of their career and also provides training for journalism, radio presenting and radio producing students”, also noting that the station had provided its services for 40 years.

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day told Guardian Express the Government had supported a variety of RTRFM projects ranging from digitising its arts radio library to original music recording and distribution, providing almost $56,000 in funding since 2008.

“I was delighted to visit RTRFM’s studios recently for an interview and would encourage the station to apply to the Department for further funding assistance. The Liberal-led government understands the importance of community,” he said.