Vale Peter McArthur
Written by Phil Edwards on February 7, 2017
3WBC is saddened to learn of the death of Peter McArthur, a stalwart of community broadcasting.
Peter was one of the founders of 3ECB (Eastern FM Croydon) and of 3WBC. In 1994, before regular community television transmission occurred, Peter became involved in ERA TV (Eastern Regional Access), one of the 8 original founder groups of Channel 31 (Melbourne Community Television Consortium). He had been President at 3WBC and also spent four years as President at Channel 31.
Peter had worked for the ABC as a television newsreader and on Radio Australia until retirement. In between he represented the seat of Ringwood as a Liberal Party parliamentarian, having been a Croydon councillor, including as Mayor.
Peter spent many years on the Board of Channel 31 as a Director and played a very active role in its development and restructuring. At a time of uncertainty for Channel 31 (digital and then moving to the internet), Peter engaged politicians of all persuasions, state and federal, including with Malcolm Turnbull as Communications Minister.
To the end, Peter remained active at Eastern FM and with ERA TV, especially its weekly program Eastern News Beat which Peter founded in 1995. He was in the process of more political lobbying to try to keep Channel 31 on “free-to-air” beyond the end of June 2017.
Peter spent several years as a Committee Member of the Community Broadcasting Association of Victoria and also remained active in the retired Victorian Parliamentarians’ organisation.
Peter McArthur died on Thursday 2nd February, aged 79. His health had deteriorated in December and he spent some weeks in hospital with a recurring chest infection.
The funeral is to be held on Thursday 9th February at 3.30pm at Lilydale Memorial Park Chapel. There will be a gathering in Peter’s memory afterwards at the Wyreena Community Centre, at its conservatorium venue.