By Jess Baker
Ten FM took to the airwaves from its new Stanthorpe studio on Marsh Street for the very first time last Monday.
Radio announcer and Stanthorpe Community Radio Association secretary Peter Robinson said the new studio will allow the station to expand local content and increase community engagement.
“We know several local people who have been trained for radio but haven’t been able to get to Tenterfield… they can, however, get to this studio,” said Peter.
“We can also have people like the Mayor and Chamber of Commerce representatives in for interviews, and we can train people in the building.
“We’ve had 12 high school students in for training so far.”
Up until last week, some local radio presenters would spend hours travelling to and from the Tenterfield station. Ron Look, the station’s country and rock program presenter, is one of several who will benefit from the new location.
“Having a Stanthorpe studio means I don’t have to travel to Tenterfield and home every Monday… which is a nightmare, especially with all the roadworks,” said Ron.
“I’d leave here at 8.30am our time and hopefully I’d get to Tenterfield in time to do my show – sometimes I wouldn’t get up there until half past 11.”
Peter said the station is on the lookout for new presenters with a passion for music, and people as young as 13 can get involved.
“We’re not desperately short of presenters, but it’s very good to introduce new people who have fresh ideas and we do have plenty of spare time into which they could put in new programs,” he said.
“A lot of people – especially retirees – would love to do something and they don’t think they’re up to it… but there’s plenty of people here to help them.”
Ron has been presenting radio for just five years, and said he started out knowing “nothing whatsoever about computers”.
“The first time I went on air I was shaking,” said Ron.
“The nerves were just about shot, but I managed to get through.
“All the staff at Ten FM are absolutely brilliant – they’re a great crew to work with and if you don’t know something you ask them and they’ll bend over backwards to help you.”
Ron said he believes his decision to get into radio completely changed his life for the better.
“I’m much happier since getting into radio,” he said.
“It’s the best move I’ve ever made… other than marrying my wife.”
Despite an influx of music streaming services in recent years, Peter said community radio remains as important as ever because “it gets people involved”.
“There’s a constant flow of local news and local information that you don’t get when you’re just streaming on your iPad, and that’s why a lot of people listen,” he said.
“We cater for a wide range of tastes in music, and we even do live broadcasts when the shows are on.
“We’re also in touch with all of the emergency services people like the SES and the RFS so they can immediately contact us with news and we can inform the community.”
The new studio is situated in a central location on Marsh Street, in the annexe to the Council’s Civic Centre building across from Weeroona Park.
“We appreciate the use of this building at a very reasonable rent,” said Peter.
“We wouldn’t be here without the Southern Downs Council.”
Ten FM broadcasts are relayed from Mount Marlay on 98.7 FM for the area around Stanthorpe and on 89.7 FM for surrounding areas of the Granite Belt.