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In a letter dated 23 November 1999, the Australian Communications Authority has urged the ABA Chairman, Professor David Flint, to return Bendigo Community Televisionís community television licence.
Despite an arson attack; extortion demands; the theft of money and documents; despite the loss of our community television licence on 30 June 1999; and despite the three year campaign waged by Bendigo Mayor Daryl McClure and his fellow councillors Barry Ackerman and Willi Carney and their group to try and win over the community television licence for Bendigo and Central Victoria; BCTV is poised to get back its community television licence inappropriately withdrawn by the Australian Broadcasting Authority on 30 June 1999.
BCTVís community television broadcasting station, CTV 41 BENDIGO, began transmitting into Bendigo with a test pattern and information on 19 June 1999. Then on 30 June 1999, BCTV was advised by the ABA that the licence would not be renewed because CTV 41 BENDIGO was not broadcasting programs.
(BCTV had advised the ABA by letter on 23 June 1999 that regular programming would commence within one month).
BCTV asked the ABA to reconsider its decision and this request was supported by the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, then on 3 August 1999, ABA Chairman Professor David Flint advised that: "the ABA is not satisfied that the decision should be reviewed".
BCTV then lodged an appeal with the Australian Communications Authority. On 19 November 1999 the ACA advised that it had written to Professor David Flint urging the ABA to: "renew BCTVís apparatus licence for a short period to enable BCTV to demonstrate that it can provide a broadcasting service".
It is unlikely that the ABA will consider this request until the Commonwealth Government has announced its policy on the broadcast of community television in the digital era. This decision is not expected until sometime in January 2000.
AGM & GENERAL MEETING
As soon as the Commonwealth Government announces itís decision on the future of community television, and the ABA has made a decision on the return of BCTVís community television licence, an Annual General Meeting & General Meeting of members of Bendigo Community Television Inc will be called.
This meeting will consider the future of BCTV and CTV 41 BENDIGO. If the people of Bendigo and Central Victoria want a community television station, then the people of Bendigo and Central Victoria will need to get behind this community project.
MEMBERS ONLY - PLEASE COME TO THIS MEETING WHEN IT IS CALLED!