THE Liverpool Plains community is one step closer to having access to public radio after Liverpool Plains Shire Council agreed to enter the final stages of negotiations with 88.9FM.
Councillors passed a motion at the council's March meeting to allow the council's general manager Joanne Sangster to iron out the final details of the plan.
The station, operated by Tamworth Broadcasting Society (TBS), has been aiming to move into the district since 2015, but hadn't had clearance from the country's national broadcasting body, the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA).
However, TBS chief executive George Frame said the station had the go ahead, the equipment and was keen to proceed as soon as possible.
"We have submitted all the necessary engineer's reports to the council and the funding side of things is all taken care of," Mr Frame told the Leader.
"It has been a long time coming and hopefully we can be up and running in the region very soon."
Liverpool Plains mayor Andrew Hope said the project had the council's full support.
"There will certainly be a lot of benefits to having a public radio service such as 88.9FM in our region," Cr Hope said.
"At the moment, our main focus is about doing our best for the community during the coronavirus pandemic, so that is why we have delegated the role over to our general manager."
Mr Frame said it was more important than ever for the community to have access to public broadcasting.
"There is so much uncertainty at the moment and people need up-to-date information," he said.
"Unfortunately, at the moment, parts of the shire don't have much access to that sort of information.
"Hopefully, we can help bridge that gap and provide a number of other benefits to the community."