Community broadcasting plays a vital role in Australia as a unique sector operating together with commercial broadcasters and national broadcasters such as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). The sector actively promotes community access and participation and volunteers are largely responsible for the operations of community broadcasting stations. The stations vary significantly depending on the audience and community interest they serve,. These stations include those focusing on particular geographic areas, Indigenous, ethnic, Radio for the Print Handicapped, religious, gay and lesbian, and youth, as a few examples.
The Broadcasting Services Act 1992(the Act) outlines the legal framework for community broadcasting and explains the role the sector plays in delivering diverse media services that reflect a sense of Australian identity, character and cultural diversity. The Community Radio Codes of Practice (the Codes) set out the guiding principles and policies for programming on community broadcasting stations.