Power Country Fm was the brainchild of Australian Greg Symes and British Born David Gardner way back in June 1999.
While Greg was living in the UK he teamed up with David Gardner and they both established the first set of transmition tests using a home made transmitter
which was located in Wymondham Norfolk with the intention of doing the required test transmit ions leading to the eventual hope of gaining a commercial
operating UK License.
The first test began in June 1999 and the station transmitted the full period of 28 days 7 days a week under the Power Country FM format. 28 days was the
maximum time allocated for theses test by the British Radio Authority? Unfortunately this was to be the only transmit ion test that took place, and it wasn't
long after that test transmition Greg returned back home to Australia.
On setting up home in Kyabram, an opportunity came along to run the 87.6 FM Frequency in Kyabram, which at that time was owned by the Chamber of
Commerce and operated for only 2 weeks at Christmas time playing 1 CD of carols over and over to everyone's annoyance.
Greg approached the Kyabram Chamber of Commerce with a proposal to run the station and persuaded the Chamber of Commerce to let him use there
license, and to run the Radio Station on a professional basis from a one room studio in Kyabram, for and on the benefit of the local Kyabram community.
The first transmition of Power Country FM in Kyabram (Australia) began in July 2002 and is still operating 24 hours a day to this day. Shortly after, Greg
applied for and was granted the 88 MHz license for Tatura and a tower and transmitter relay station was erected at Joe Locaters Transport truck yard in
Tatura and started transmitting via a relay from Kyabram in Sept 2002. And transmitted this way for the next 4 years. (Tatura was eventually exchanged for
Kerang in 2010) Because of where the tower was situated at Leo carters, it was not possible to link into broadband, and so the decision was made to move
to a better location and is now situated at another location at Tatura where access to broadband is available.
Also around this time Mr. Steve Virtue applied for and was granted the License for Tongala. He then established a small working studio at Tongala and
transmits programs from there to the other stations in the PCFM Network. The main Power Country FM live program base comes from Kyabram, Tongala or
Leitchville, and theses programs are shared by all the indervidual PCFM stations at different times thought the day when the relay stations are not on
automation. In February 2007 Greg decided to move to Leitchville to live and to try and expand the Billabong Radio Network, and proceeded to lodge an
application for a radio station in the Leitchville area, which would cover Gunbower, Leitchville, and Cohuna on the 88 MHz. PCFM Leitchville was born and
went to air May 2007 Licenses for Barham and Cohuna soon became the next target for the network with Cohuna and Barham coming on line in June 2008.
In 2009 Lockington and Rochester came on line and are proving very successful of late. PCFM Pyramid Hill gained there license on the 88 MHz frequency in
April 2008 and have come on board using the Power Country name and they are using the Power Country format, and like the other stations they take
different programs from the main studio's in, Tongala, and Leitchville thought the day as well as doing their local program content. Because of the
availability and power of broadband, Power Country FM not only transmits there signal to their relays stations this way, they can now transmits to the world
via the World Wide Web through camstreams.com, and studio camera's are in operation in Tongala and the Leitchville studios allowing viewers to see how
it is all done. The whole aim of the Power Country FM Network is to attempt to bring people together from theses rural broadcasting areas, and for these
community's to be able to have access to promote their individual town's tourism and businesses via theses stations. All the stations in the Power Country
Network are operated by dedicated volunteers, who receive no wages what so ever, and give there services freely for the benefit of their community. The
money which is generated from advertising from local sponsors helps keep the stations on the air by maintaining the equipment and paying license and
APRA fees. This is why we look for sponsors and businesses who can let us install our system and transmitters, to help us out with rooms, electricity and the
broadband fees for our relay stations. In return for theses services, we are able to give unlimited free advertising to the sponsors and businesses that help us
out. At the moment all the Power Country stations work this way. It has proven to be a very successful way to run a local radio network. And is a win win
situation. Some of the regular presenters on PCFM are Norris "the urban Cowboy" who along with Greg Symes and Steve Virtue were the first presenters to
start off Power Country FM in Kyabram. Steve Virtue is station manager for PCFM Kyabram and also controls his own station PCFM Tongala and Rochester.
Greg Symes is the operations managers and owner of the Leitchville, Cohuna, Lockington, Kerang, Kyabram, Boort, Barham and Pyramid Hill stations Doug
Hawken owns and heads up PCFM Quambatook station on 88MHz. As this way of servicing our local communities is proving very successful, we are looking
towards establishing more stations in the local area when they become available. This past season saw PCFM Leitchville take on, and transmit, live, the
season's football matches covering both home and away matches. We decided to do this for the local community if we could raise enough money to cover
the traveling costs. So we approached the Leitchville club with this suggestion, and were amazed by the sponsor's response. This has proved very
successful especially now that we have "live" coverage of the main game transmitted not only to our other relay station but around the ground itself. With
the new outside van "Guss" we now have an on board transmitter that transmits the game around the ground to all the cars. The crowd now can hear the
live coverage on portable's or car radios and they get that extra feel to the game. Power Country FM are your local information radio stations servicing live
football coverage to the areas of Kyabram, Tongala, Lockington, Leitchville, Barham, Quambatook, Girgarree, Rushworth,Rochester, Cohuna, and Pyramid
hill every Saturday when the season is on. The commentary team includes Doug Hawken our anchor man along side Dominic Baxter who is Doug's right
hand man and Butch Gladman who is our roving ground reporter. Greg Symes and Mayne Brewer keep the whole live transmition going for the duration of
the game. The football coverage would not take place without the rest of the dedicated team of helpers who also contribute there services free every
weekend. They are Noel Kerwin (special comments) and Martin Lawrence, (covers time and scores) although Martin wheel chair bound; he is a vital
member of the football team Everybody works well together as a team, and the enthusiasm is felt by everyone concerned and The Leitchville Football
Team over all. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What is an LPON service?
LPON services, as the name suggests, cater for the provision of niche radio broadcasting services to a limited area of reception. The types of programming
provided by LPON services include racing and tourist information services, ethnic broadcasting, information services, niche musical services and religious
programming. LPON services operate on a very low power and their range is much more limited than other radio broadcasting services What are the
limitations on LPON services? Limited reception The reception of LPON services is to be limited in some way. For example, reception may be limited
because the program content is targeted to special interest groups or the services are intended for limited locations. Power and coverage limitations As
the name suggests, LPON services operate on very low power outputs. The operating power for LPON services is limited to a maximum of 1 watt transmitter
power in residential areas and 10 watts in non-residential areas. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Power Country FM Your local
information radio stations servicing Kyabram, Tongala, Leitchville, Barham, Cohuna, Rochester, Rushworth, Lockington, Kerang, Boort, Quambatook and
THE POWER COUNTRY STORY