Ethnic Broadcasters Incorporation

30 October, 2019

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:40): I rise today to speak about the Ethnic Broadcasters Incorporation, better known as 5EBI—the multicultural radio station for Adelaide and South Australia. 5EBI was established at the beginning of 1975 and South Australia has the proud legacy of being the first state to have ethnic broadcasting. For many migrants, refugees, temporary workers and international students, ethnic media is a critical source of information about what is happening in South Australian society.

I am a true believer that ethnic media plays a significant role in the wellbeing and functioning of migrant communities, because I experienced it myself with my parents, who could not speak much English at all when we arrived in Australia in 1979. It is through multicultural media that migrants can connect with each other, share information and ideas, and speak about histories and traditions using the languages of their homelands. When migrants tune in to the station, they are entertained by music and sounds that they enjoy. They hear familiar voices that comfort them during difficult times and give them joy during auspicious festivals or happy times.

There are more than 40 culturally diverse communities and organisations actively volunteering at 5EBI which have delivered a diverse range of wonderful programs and activities at the station. On Sunday 20 October 2019, 5EBI hosted their annual radiothon in Byron Place, Adelaide, and it was an honour to represent the government of South Australia at their open day, which featured delicious food and drinks served by volunteers and many colourful performances showcasing the diversity of South Australia's multicultural society.

It was wonderful to see a great turnout at the open day. Congratulations to the chair of the executive committee and station manager, Kym Green, and volunteers of 5EBI for putting on a successful event together. My heartfelt congratulations to the hundreds of fabulous volunteers who have contributed their valuable time, knowledge and skills every week to give more than 40 different communities a voice on air.

Some of the special guests who attended that day included the Hon. Julian Stefani OAM and Mr Darryl Johnson, the Philippine Honorary Consul. I would particularly like to pay tribute to a life member of 5EBI, former member of the Legislative Council the Hon. Julian Stefani, who has continued to be such a fantastic supporter of the radio station. Since 1975, 5EBI has been a strong contributor to South Australia for the past 44 years. The Hon. Julian Stefani has reminded me that 5EBI has always received bipartisan support. He pointed out that former Labor MLC the Hon. Chris Sumner is also a life member of 5EBI.

Bipartisanship support should always be embraced as the true spirit of multiculturalism so that migrant communities can enjoy the benefits of living in a harmonious and inclusive society. We should not allow anyone, particularly elected members, to play political games to compromise the integrity of bipartisanship. It was very disappointing that the opposition provided some misleading and inaccurate information about the government's funding arrangement with 5EBI.

The spreading of fake news by the Labor shadow minister in the other place has created misunderstanding, misconception and anxiety among the community groups, volunteers and listeners of 5EBI. I wish to confirm that the Marshall government has been and will continue to be a supporter of Ethnic Broadcasters Incorporated. Contrary to the misleading information, the fact is that there is no cut to the funding for the 2019-20 period for 5EBI—$22,550 was paid into 5EBI's account.

It is also a fact that the office of Multicultural Affairs has sent a letter offering an opportunity to discuss funding options. I have subsequently met with the chair and executive manager and Kym Green, the station manager, to discuss new funding arrangements. I believe a well-written proposal that meets the funding guidelines for support from 5EBI will be viewed favourably, because the government of South Australia is committed to supporting valuable multicultural organisations to build capabilities and sustainability within the communities they serve.