Binjang Community Radio looking for a new location for broadcasting

Binjang Community Radio manager Tony Graham. Photo: FILE

Binjang Community Radio manager Tony Graham. Photo: FILE

Binjang Community Radio is struggling to find a new home after having to leave its current premises.

The radio station started in Wellington in 2012. It has been using a building adjacent to the Wellington Visitor Information Centre.

Binjang has been renting the building for $1 a year, as organised with the former Wellington Council. However, council wants the building to establish the Wellington Wiradjuri Tourism Experience.

The station has to vacate by September 30.

Dubbo Regional Council is providing $15,000 to help with the relocation costs, and staff will help find a new location, but Binjang Community Radio manager Tony Graham said the funding would fall short of their requirements.

    Mr Graham said he understood the decision to vacate Binjang from the building, however, they had found it difficult to find new premises.

    One building they looked at would have required $40,000 in new works to make it accessible.

    "Most other options looked at so far have not been viable, mostly due to the necessity to find space for a disability car park and additionally the costs of upgrading a facility for disability access, a common problem with Wellington," Mr Graham said.

    Binjang features music, hourly news and community information. An independent survey conducted by the radio station found they had a listening rate of 94 per cent in the local area, said Mr Graham, with a reach extending from Orange to Dubbo and beyond.

    While he said there were "irons in the fire", the manager said the amount of funding offered by council "will fall short of requirements".

    However, councillor Stephen Lawrence said council could not reasonably spend more than the $15,000.

    "Not offering more is in no way a reflection on the good work that's been done because it's a fantastic radio station doing amazing work. Unfortunately though, I think in the circumstances what we're proposing is generous, even though there is more need there," he said.

    To make it easier for Binjang, council CEO Michael McMahon said he would have staff help find a suitable premises in Wellington.

    Dubbo Regional Council was given $1.5 million from the NSW government through the Stronger Communities Fund to develop A Wiradjuri Tourism Experience in Wellington and Dubbo.

    According to council the aim is to "allow visitors and the community to experience Australia's oldest culture in the world, experiencing local Aboriginal traditions and to gain an understanding and appreciation for the beliefs of the local Wiradjuri people".

    Both the Wellington and Dubbo Wiradjuri tourism experiences are expected to be completed before the end of the year.