The future of Yass FM 100.3 community radio station remains uncertain and at risk, unless the station can secure a $100,000 “Stronger Country Communities” grant from the NSW government to construct a new building. Yass FM is calling for written support from the community to compile and send to Ms Tuckerman as proof that Yass FM is wanted and valuable to Yass and must continue operation. Even just one line is enough. 

“We’re running out of time. Our lease on the pool house which the Council gave us was for twelve months, it’s now August,” said Yass FM board member Janet Bamford.

Yass FM – Previous station manager Richard Wilson, longtime Yass FM volunteer Jan Wilson and sports presenter Wayde Chalmers

Yass FM was formerly operated from the waterworks, but when it began to collapse, Council offered a strictly temporary space at the pool house, as the area is earmarked for the pool site’s redevelopment. This means the Yass radio station needs a new building, and soon. 

Yass FM is negotiating with local business MA Steel to build a shed but just doesn’t have the $100,000 required. 

“In fact, we haven’t got anything!” said Janet. 

Losing Yass FM would be a tragedy for the community, especially for the elderly demographic who tune in all day and rely on the radio for weather and news. Janet listed just a few of the reasons why Yass FM must stay:

“Local radio is unique. It provides local information, news, sport, and entertainment. It’s a community forum with local personalities speaking about local issues. It’s an emergency broadcaster if something awful has happened. It’s an opportunity for the forty volunteers to give and develop their skills.”

Yass FM President Geoff Frost explained that community radio reaches thousands of listeners each day, and only with support from the community will Yass FM continue to broadcast across the Yass Valley, bringing new members, volunteers, or valuable customers to Yass businesses, organisations, and charities. 

Geoff adds that according to the 2022 Australian Community Radio Listener

Survey, 25% of people in non-metropolitan Australia listen to community radio; 7% listen exclusively to community radio; and listeners spend an average of 13.2 hours a week listening to their radio.

“Based on these figures, over 4000 of our 17,300 Yass Valley residents listen to Yass FM each week, and over 1000 listen exclusively,” he said. 

Geoff urges the Yass community to take a few minutes to support the effort to gain a long-term home for a highly valuable community radio station and underwrite the long-term future of Yass FM 100.3. Write to mail@yassfm.org

Southerly Jones