Double J On FM: Govt Commits $500,000 To Feasibility Study

26 October 2022 | 4:42 pm | Dan Cribb

Labor makes good on its pre-election promise.

Double J’s hopeful expansion to FM is one step closer, with the federal government today committing significant funding to determine whether or not the DAB+ station should join the same band as its youth broadcaster counterpart, triple j.

As part of the federal budget, $500,000 has been allocated for a feasibility study into the expansion of Double J to FM frequencies.

Labor has also made good on its pre-election promise to restore the $84 million cut from ABC funding by the Coalition government in 2018, committing $83.7 million over four years. The 2018 funding cut resulted in 250 jobs lost.

Back in March, a number of high-profile Australian artists began petitioning to have Double J shifted to FM in order to give older female musicians a platform to be heard.

In an open letter, Missy Higgins, Kasey Chambers, Kate Miller-Heidke, Sarah Blasko, Vikki Thorn and Deborah Conway highlighted inequality on the Australian radio landscape.

The collective stated that “the expansion of Double J would be a relatively simple solution to this current inequity for artists and fans alike".

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“At the moment this fantastic digital-only channel plays a lot of new music by female (and non female) artists over the age of 30 but its reach is severely limited," they said.

“Some of us can fortunately still be heard on triple j and community stations. The rest of us benefitted hugely from FM radio exposure in our 20’s and 30’s and the hits we had in those years continue to receive recurrent airplay for which we are sincerely grateful. 

“However, like our male counterparts, we continue to release new music of which we are proud and we believe that our fans deserve an equal opportunity to hear it on the radio.”

In response and ahead of the election in May, Labor promised it would commission the ABC to “undertake a feasibility study into the expansion of Double J on radio as the next logical next step in helping great Aussie artists reach more ears”.

At the time, Anthony Albanese said: “It’s no secret I’ve always been a huge music fan. I want more people in regional Australia to experience the joy I have of listening to DoubleJ, singing along to songs they love or maybe discovering something new.”

Tony Burke, who was Shadow Minister for the Arts at the time, added: “Australian musicians were left behind by the Morrison Government during the pandemic. Having them heard by more Australians in more towns is only going to be a good thing for artists and a good thing for listeners.”