Eurobodalla SaveRNMusic joins regional protests to save Aunty's music programs

Listeners and music lovers in the Eurobodalla are joining national protests across the nation to save ABC radio National's music programing from the axe. SaveRNMusic Eurobodalla is meeting today in Moruya at St John's Hall at 12.45 to take photos and to send a message to the ABC Board that regional communities are particularly devastated by the changes and program losses. A local group SaveRNMusic Eurobodalla has been set up to respond to the shock news that the station's popular music programs The Daily Planet, The Inside Sleeve, The Live Set and the The Rhythm Divine will be discontinued in early 2017 as part of far reaching changes to the national broadcaster's programing model. The local convenor of the group, Magella Blinksell says that iconic programs like "The Daily Planet" and "The Inside Sleeve" have acted like a music 'bush telegraph' and their jettisoning will be devastating to the health of Australian music and regional music events and festivals. "These shows allow listeners in the regional areas like the Eurobodalla to access the Arts and music for free, to feel connected to the national music conversation, and to be linked in to music events and festivals." Ms Blinksell said. " Music forms important bridges across Australia's vast distances, and the benefits of the Arts to regional mental health and well being are now well understood. We lack the cultural opportunities that folk in the city might take for granted." she said. "These programs are established as the marker and the working model of Australian excellence amongst the music industry. The shows are iconic, and have had years of building followers. Most importantly they play a vital role in promoting emerging and regional artists and music events , who would never get their break without this type of curatorship and national coverage. A number of our successful local artists would attest to this. The Far South Coast's very own Heath Cullen is a classic example." "There are no other shows like these." said Ms Blinksell. The group is also concerned about how regional areas like the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley will be disadvantaged by the ABC Board's broader plans to move the broadcaster to a digital, spoken word only model. " We all know that Internet coverage is often slow and sketchy or not easily available in regional areas. And often expensive. Yet we don't have the breadth of opportunities to access the Arts and music, that our city counterparts have." said Ms Blinksell "You have to ask, where does this leave our regional communities? What rational reasoning is there for cutting these shows at a national level?" " You have to wonder if any of the ABC Board members have firsthand basic experience of the difficulties of internet access in regional areas. And whether its even possible economically to link the entire nation for digital broadcasting." "While digital media will of course play an important role in our audio future, we believe a discussion about the practicalities and implications of broadcast access is now very urgent to regional listeners. " The group is urging locals who want to see a thriving Australian music sector, and a relevant and accessible ABC to sign the online SaveRNMusic petition.

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