A potted History of Community Radio in the Liverpool Area
Born out of the social difficulties facing the largely disadvantaged housing commission area of Green Valley during the 60′s and early seventies. Unemployment was the only growth industry in the area.
Greater social awareness was generated in the area out of Peter Weir’s film ‘Whatever Happened to Green Valley‘.
An embryo born out of an idea to challenge the status quo and the Post & Telegraphy Act resulted in a loop hole being found in the Act that allowed for “test transmissions”
A test transmission licence was applied for and received – the first test transmission went to air in 1975 from the Miller Community Centre.
The Search For Equipment
Equipment was borrowed from many sources – a transmitter and antenna was borrowed from 2MBS-FM. At the time MBS was the only FM station on-air in Australia – with our test transmission, 2GLF-FM was the second.
This was to begin a movement that started other interest groups forming across Sydney and Australia. The mantra would be; “To provide access to the airwaves to those in the community who cannot normally access them and to compliment and supplement existing commercial and national services.”
The Liverpool group was later sharing premises with a community video Access Centre at 267 Bigge Street where 2 test transmissions were conducted in 1976 and 1978. The 1976 transmission was covered by Channel TEN
The sector grew and grew and lobbied government ministers but was ignored. Licences were not granted and didn’t even look like ever being granted.
An umbrella group called ‘The Public Broadcasting Association of NSW’ was formed. This was later updated to ‘The Public Broadcasting Association of Australia’ and finally ‘The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’. (WHAT IS THE RELEVANCE OF THIS????)
In 1979 the video access centre and radio group moved to Scott Street Liverpool. Another test transmission followed shortly after in the summer of 1980.
Temporary Licenses Granted
Government funding for the video centre was stopped (WHEN???) and consequently folded leaving the radio group temporarily homeless.
Meanwhile…A by-election campaign for former PM, Billy McMahon’s (very marginal) seat got a visit from then Minister for communications, Ian Sinclair. A direct question was put to him “why not call for community broadcasting licences?”. The question wasn’t ignored and very soon afterwards there was a call for 7 Sydney licence applications.
The Search For a Home
Possible sites were scouted with 2WS offering their original studios at 2 Leabon’s Lane Seven Hills… as long as we could move it (MOVE WHAT???) off the site. This was a very small, very old and very tiny wooden 2 bedroom house!
Liverpool Council showed solid support and offered the former SES building at 19 Christie Street, Liverpool. This run-down site became the centre of activity to build studios. The 2WS house was stripped of anythings useful and used in constructing the Christie Street studios.
A test transmission was conducted from Christie Street mid 1982 with an antenna strapped to the back of the building.
A License… And the Birth of 2GLF
The original group was known as 2LGV-FM and during the licence application process, everyone attended everyone else’s hearings to get ideas.
The Liverpool licence hearing took place in the Liverpool City Council chambers. Submissions were presented by Joan Killorn, Frank Scambary and Ian Becker.
Months later, in September 1982, news was received that we were successful and had 12 months to get on-air. This was on the proviso that the call sign be changed to 2GLF-FM and that the group form a registered co-operative as its business entity.
A Move to Macquarie Street
1996 saw a major upheaval. Liverpool City Council advised of their intention to sell the land in Christie Street to re-zone the entire street as ‘residential’. 2GLF was offered the School of Arts Building in Macquarie Street. Liverpool Council assisted with the logistics of moving and the keys were handed over by Deputy Mayor, Wendy Waller personally.
Once again, studios were built. Equipment was purchased and installed. Macquarie Street broadcasting commenced in October 1997.
The School of Arts Building in Macquarie Street made a fitting home for many years but by 2005 trouble was brewing.
Rumours began to surface of the possible redevelopment of Macquarie street. This was confirmed when the Council signed a MUA (WHAT IS A MUA????) with a developer for the Macquarie Street but their support for 2GLF was reaffirm with the promises to find a new site.
A number of sites, including the Powerhouse Arts Centre and the Regional Museum were proposed but ultimately found unsuitable.
Things looked hopeful with the old Skate Park on Memorial Avenue offered as a firm location. Planning discussions progressed with Council officers. The only snag was the council’s desire to keep 2GLF in the School of Arts building as security for the heritage-listed building itself.
Save Our Station
Despite Liverpool Council’s written promise to provide a premises (still at the skate park), add complications arrived when the Council’s Administration Centre burnt down in 2010… just as the Global Financial Crisis hit.
By 2011, the Council reconsidered usage of the old Administration site precinct and decided to look at a long term commercial lease on the site. The skate park is no longer available for our use. In August of that year the Macquarie Street developer was given an extension and on 10th August, 2GLF was given notice to move out by February 2012.
The letter also advised that they did not intend to provide an alternative location, actively reversing their promises.
With nowhere to go, so began operation ‘Save Our Station’ on Saturday 13th August 2012.
Going State of the Art
2GLF currently broadcast from Bigge St Liverpool with state-of-the art equipment providing quality radio for the Liverpool-Fairfield community and beyond.
All programs are available On-Demand and Live-To-Air.