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Valley FM ready to make bigger waves

Toogoolawah community radio station Valley FM 95.5 technician Bill Vanderwerff with station manager Anna Wheildon and presenter Robbyn Janson (behind). The station has received $100,000 donation to build a new transmitter.
Toogoolawah community radio station Valley FM 95.5 technician Bill Vanderwerff with station manager Anna Wheildon and presenter Robbyn Janson (behind). The station has received $100,000 donation to build a new transmitter. Sarah Harvey

TOOGOOLAWAH community radio station Valley FM is about to greatly increase its broadcast range - and hopefully its audience.

The community station will move its transmitter from the existing Toogoolawah site to a new block near Esk.

The land to be used and the tower itself have been donated to the station by the Somerset Regional Council.

The total gift to the station is worth in excess of $100,000. The station will cease transmission of an analogue television signal in May next year.

Moving the tower will mean the broadcasting area expands from the area surrounding Toogoolawah to most of the Somerset region.

Station manager Anna Wheildon said the volunteer-run station's signal would reach Lowood in the south and Kilcoy to the north.

"This will allow us to broadcast to areas in our local area plan which we've never been able to reach before," she said.

"During the last flood we had to put another phone in, we were that busy, but the main complaint we had from people was that they couldn't hear us."

Valley FM technician Bill Vanderwerff said: "The current transmitter is located 129m above sea level. The new location is 306m. Having it twice as high as well as increasing the output power will help us reach a much bigger area.

"There are other towers already in the area which is a good sign it's a top spot for us."

Despite moving the transmitter the station will stay put, , wirelessly transmitting broadcasts to the new site.

The station recently was awarded a five-year licence renewal from the Australian Community Media Authority.

Ms Wheildon said the not-for-profit community station was always looking for support.

To support Valley FM contact Ms Wheildon on 0417 773 723.

Topics:  community radio, somerset regional council, toogoolawah




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