Community loses its voice

By Tate Papworth

A western suburbs institution said goodbye on Thursday.
At 12pm on January 16, community radio station Stereo 974 Sunshine ceased transmission.
Management at the station confirmed the closure to Star Weekly, but declined to make comment.
It’s understood that escalating costs and a lack of funding support led to the closure.
The station had been struggling to secure advertisers for a number of months.
Management had been calling on the public to donate in order to keep the volunteer-run station on air.
The closure ends a storied history for the station, which was one of the longest established community broadcasters in the state.
The station was founded in 1978 and operated in North Sunshine for two decades.
It had humble beginnings, initially broadcasting from a shipping container, but has been on air 24 hours a day, seven days a week since it began transmitting.
In 1998 the station moved to its site in Geelong Road, Brooklyn, where it remained until its closure last week.
While times have been tough for the community radio station, it still played a vital role for the community.
In 2010 it was formally recognised as official emergency broadcaster for the region.
In a message posted on the station’s website, general manager Rod Boyd said number of local councils have published and distributed leaflets and fridge magnets advising residents that they should tune into the station for up-to-date information should an emergency occur.
He said there are in excess of 23 major hazardous sites located in the station’s broadcast area, which includes Brimbank and Maribyrnong.
The station also catered for the region’s diverse population with ethnic language programs making up a third of its broadcast time.