14 Nov 2005

New Caledonia radio issue to taken to French regulator

10:26 am on 14 November 2005

New Caledonia's biggest party is set to appeal to the French broadcasting standards authority after the territory's multi-party government decided against opening the FM band to new radio stations.

The Future Together Party, which is led by President Marie-Noelle Themereau, was outvoted by the other government parties in a bid to grant more radio licences.

Apart from the public broadcaster, RFO, the territory's pro-independence movement has a station, Radio Djiido, and the anti-independence Rassemblement-UMP has a station, RRB.

The Future Together says New Caledonia has very few radio stations for a French overseas territory, pointing to French Polynesia with 34 and Mayotte in the Indian Ocean with 16.

Meanwhile, there is criticism in a Noumea suburb after it was revealed that the local council agreed to subsidise RRB with 70'000 US dollars.