15 Nov 2005

New Caledonia minister foresees four new radio stations

7:33 am on 15 November 2005

New Caledonia's Communications Minister, Didier Leroux, says the territory could soon have four new radio stations, if France agrees.

Mr Leroux's Future Together is pushing the issue of radio expansion but other parties in the coalition government are opposed.

This has prompted Future Together to threaten to file an appeal to the French Broadcasting Authority.

Currently there are three territory-wide radio stations in New Caledonia - the public broadcaster RFO; the pro-independence Radio Djiido, and RRB, which supports the anti-independence Rassemblement-UMP party.

In addition there's Ocean Radio, which only broadcasts in and around the capital Noumea.

Mr Leroux says one plan is to broaden the reach of Ocean; another to establish a new network called Coconut radio.

He says Future Together's belief is that New Caledonia needs more variety in its broadcasting.