Community & the environment

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Supporting our community
We recognise that no matter where you are in the world, you’re part of a community. And we support communities around the globe: from Australia to New York and from Hong Kong to Toronto, Europe and beyond.
Saying thank you

During the summer of 2013, Broadcast Australia supported our customers with 365 separate Emergency Site Warning Level Status changes – 15 were due to cyclone, 49 were flood/heavy rain, 47 were classified as other, and a staggering 253 were for fire.

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In many instances, the community provided support, and it was great to see people come together to save critical infrastructure. In the devastating blazes that affected Coonabarabran, NSW in February 2013, the Rural Fire Service worked long and hard to protect the Broadcast Australia site at Mt Cenn Cruaich.

To acknowledge this support and to commend the efforts of those involved, Broadcast Australia made donations to the RFS and other supporting agencies, as well as the Mayor’s rebuilding fund. In January 2014, firefighters spent over a month battling the Bangor fire in the Port Pirie region in South Australia, located approximately 250km from Adelaide in the Southern Flinders Ranges.

This fire came dangerously close to the Broadcast Australia Bluff site, located at the summit overlooking Port Pirie, where a Government Radio Network communications hut (relied upon by public safety agencies to transmit radio communications) resides next to the transmission tower, also relied upon to deliver critical radio and television broadcasts for ABC and SBS during these times of emergency.

A number of local brigades from the Country Fire Service worked for days to save the Bluff, where fire came, circled and came back again.Chief Operating Officer Peter Lambourne travelled to Port Germein, a little town within the affected community where a number of the CFS firefighters and volunteers who were tasked with protecting the site reside. Peter presented the CFS with a donation in support of local resources to say thank you for their efforts.

It is very difficult (and costly) to rebuild and replace a site and Broadcast Australia wanted to formally thank the brigades that worked shifts controlling the fire that twice circled the Bluff site. Without their help we would be in a very different position.

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We support a range of industry associations and community organisations through our corporate sponsorship program.
A great cause

Every year 10,000 cyclists take part in the annual MS Gong Ride, cycling 90km from Sydney to Wollongong to raise money for the more than 20,000 Australians living with Multiple Sclerosis. From 2010 to 2014 Broadcast Australia and SBS joined forces to show their support by entering a team in the event.

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The joint team, known as SBS-BA Cycle Safari was made up of staff from both organisations plus associated family and friends.

Since our association began, we have donated more than $600k in support of people living with MS and annually, the highest by any team in the event.

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Sometimes getting a start in the workforce can be the hardest part. We’re there, the world over, helping young people get a foothold through industry apprenticeships.
Supporting young talent

In 2011 SBS and Broadcast Australia joined forces to support young Indigenous cadet Larteasha Smith in a year-long news and current affairs apprenticeship at SBS. Larteasha spent a year working across different teams at SBS, including a stint with Broadcast Australia, gaining the knowledge she needed to chart a successful career as a broadcast journalist.

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At the end of her one year internship, Larteasha was appointed into a full time position as a Video Journalist on ‘Living Black’, produced in-house by the SBS News & Current Affairs Department. In early 2014 Larteasha left SBS to take an opportunity with ABC.

The Indigenous cadetship formed part of a joint commitment from the two organisations to The Year of Giving Back’, an initiative by SBS and Broadcast Australia that identified multiple programs aimed at ‘giving back’ to the community.

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Supporting our environment
We are determined to reduce our environmental impact, and to help our customers to reduce theirs. Ongoing investment in infrastructure means new and improved services, along with innovative developments.
First solar-powered transmission site

Broadcast Australia has launched the first of 100% solar-powered transmission sites at Muswellbrook, NSW, Australia, in a process to pilot the removal of sites from the national power grid. The new photo-voltaic system uses advanced German battery storage technology, coupled with 96 solar panels.

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The 24 batteries can store 215kWh of power, producing enough solar energy to run the Muswellbrook transmission system for up to 43 hours and take just over 5.5 hours to charge at full efficiency.

Serving a community of some 50,000 people, the Muswellbrook antenna broadcasts local medium wave radio services and is also relied upon by local emergency services for communications during bushfires and floods. The pilot solar-powered system is designed with the ruggedness and reliability demanded by the Australian outback, where many sites are extremely remote and operate under harsh conditions.

Broadcast Australia is proud to trial this renewable energy solution – and take Australia’s first transmission site completely off-grid.

We participate in a number of external initiatives to help improve the environmental performance of business, including Earth Hour & World Environment Day.

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