BLU FM in the past














BLU FM - Brief History

The Blue Mountains Public Broadcasting Society was set up at a public meeting in Katoomba in 1985. Between June 1986 and December 1992, the Society conducted test transmissions. 

In June 1992, the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal granted a "C Class" Community Public Radio licence to the Blue Mountains Public Broadcasting Society Inc. 

The delay in inviting licence applications for the Blue Mountains was due to the need for a restructuring of the FM broadcast spectrum for the Sydney area.

From the first trial transmissions, BLU FM has grown into a highly respected Community asset. 

Broadcasting commenced 4 days a week on 8 January 1993. By the end of the year BLU FM was broadcasting 7 days a week and the following year, connected to the ComRadSat (National Community Radio Satellite) service allowing broadcasting 24 hours a day. 

BLU FM's studios are in Gang Gang Street, Katoomba, but in 1995 our transmitter and antenna were relocated to the Blue Mountains City Council headquarters building in Station Street, Katoomba.

BLU FM's signal strength

BLU FM is licensed to broadcast to the Upper and Mid Blue Mountains area from Mount Victoria to Woodford on the FM band at 89.1 MHz. The transmitted signal is sent on a vertical plane so for best reception an aerial mounted vertically (like a car aerial) is required. 

The first transmitter (100 W) was purchased in May 1992 and this was replaced by a new (250 W) transmitter in October 2000 after the Australian Broadcasting Authority granted an increase in transmission power.

The signal from the studio travels via a low power transmitter to a link on the roof of Blue Mountains City Council Headquarters building then broadcast from the 200-watt transmitter, which is housed below the Yagi Antenna on Council Building roof.

BLU FM is linked via the Community Radio Satellite (ComRadSat) to the Community Radio Network operated by the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia.

BLU FM is your local community radio station

Community radio caters for people from all walks of life with specialist programs for young people, women, the aged, indigenous peoples & those from multicultural backgrounds. With new stations coming on-stream daily, it's expected that the community-broadcasting network will extend to well over 300 licensed stations across the country by 2005. The community broadcasting sector has recently introduced some digital technology, and is involved in internet services to community radio.

Community FM radio broadcasting began in Australia in 1974, and community radio is now the fastest growing communications medium in Australia. BLU FM is licensed by the Australian Broadcasting Authority to cover the mid and upper Blue Mountains region.

Over the past 25 years many media professionals, including Andrew Denton, Amanda Keller, H.G. Nelson, & ABC newsreader Richard Moorcroft, started their careers in community radio.

There is one community radio listener in every five Australians living within range of a community radio station. Australian community media has an audience reach approaching 3 million. Seventy percent of licensed community radio stations are located in rural and regional areas - areas that are losing the services and infrastructure that make them viable communities. In many rural & urban fringe areas community radio is the only truly local broadcaster on the airwaves - BLU FM 89.1 is the ONLY local Blue Mountains broadcaster.

The community broadcasting sector is strongly supported by local communities. With a turnover of over Z$50 million in 1999/2000 the sector raises its operating revenue from subscriptions, membership fees, airtime access fees and business sponsorship. The Broadcasting Services Act specifically precludes community broadcasters from advertising and limits sponsorship announcements to five minutes per hour.

There are safeguards ensuring that interests outside of local communities cannot take control of a community broadcasting licence. The peak body & watchdog for the sector is the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia and BLU FM is a member of this Association.

BLU FM is a volunteer-staffed radio station - new members are always welcome. Please feel free to contact us by either phone or email. BLU FM is an incorporated community organisation which offers access and diversity to every person in the Blue Mountains.



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 Official website for Blue Mountains FM 89.1
PO Box 64 KATOOMBA 2780
Office Phone: 47829286
Site designed and maintained by Tom Oriti