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CMAA Urges Radio Dispute Parties To Talk

TAMWORTH, NSW (CelebrityAccess News Service) – The Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) has urged owners of Sydney's Cool Country Radio and the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) to sit down and resolve the dispute currently existing between the two organisations.

Cool Country Radio says the ACA is threatening legal action which, if it went ahead, could threaten the station's future.

"(If) the station was forced into a situation where it could no longer operate, it would close down (and) country music fans would lose the only full time country music station in Sydney," said station owner Mike Bedford.

Cool Country has been providing Sydney's west and the Blue Mountains with country music 24 hours a day for almost seven years.

In recent weeks, the station has been mobilising political representatives, the country music industry and fans to fight the ACA's actions.

"It's unfortunate one of our members, and especially one providing such an important service, appears to be facing major technical problems which they believe to be not of their making and which could threaten the viability of their operation," said a spokesman for the CMAA.

"We would encourage all parties in this situation to sit down and work the problems out to the benefit of all and especially to the benefit of the listening public. It would be a great shame if we were to lose such a significant outlet for Australian country music in the Sydney area."

Country music entertainer Dwayne Elix, on behalf of Cool Country FM, is organising a benefit concert to raise funds to assist the station with legal expenses. The concert will be held at Rooty Hill RSL Club on Thursday night, November 27.

"Our team has been absolutely blown away by the response from our listeners," said Mike Bedford. "We're worn out, we have taken over 6,000 phone calls so far, but very excited that so many of our listeners have responded. It is abundantly clear that Australians are sick of the Bureaucrats. We are certainly the underdogs here."

Listeners, and anyone wanting to support the Cool Country cause, should telephone the station for a "protest pack" on 02 9623 6333. Listeners are also invited to ring a special protest line ­ 02 9623 4567 ­ to record their own comments about Cool Country and its fight with the ACA. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers