The immense task of starting a community radio station was unknown to the few who took the first step towards that objective. It began with an application for a license to the Minister for Communications back in 1977.
The first public meeting was convened some months later in 1978, at which a steering committee was formed. Five years later, volunteers had driven literally thousands of miles, attending conferences and seminars, conducting tests, gathering information, procuring the necessary licenses, locating suitable premises, obtaining equipment and people with the expertise to install and operate it, plus gaining the blessing and support of Bellingen Shire residents and Council. They also raised the money to finance the entire project which was then under the working name of Community Radio Bellinger.
Given this was rural NSW in the '70s and with a majority of support from the new settlers to the area, many of the established locals viewed the idea of an alternative media voice beyond their political and financial control with suspicion (even antagonism) for those who they considered "hippies".
Despite this, there was sufficient support from old and new settlers alike, as well as backing from local businesses, to overcome the obstacles. Fortunately, a few local luminaries had the vision to see that community radio could do much to foster understanding and tolerance within the community.
Preliminary approval was obtained and test transmissions commenced early in 1980 from the late Carl Foster's Garage in Hyde Street, Bellingen.
In October 1981, the formation meeting of the Bellinger Community Communications Co-operative Limited was held and the assets, liabilities and operations of Community Radio Bellinger taken over. On September 9th, 1983 2BBB-fm officially began broadcasting from temporary premises located next door to the present studio in Wheatley Street, North Bellingen following the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal's approval of licenses to operate both a transmitter and Australia's first public FM translator.
The second stage now began in earnest. Much of the equipment was built and installed, training in all aspects of broadcasting was undertaken and various committees formed to keep the station operational. At the same time work commenced on the world's first mud brick radio station.
With the determined efforts of a large group of volunteers from the community and a few tradespersons hired under the auspices of a government Wage Pause Grant the studios were completed for a total cost of $18,000 in the space of 12 months. After being on air for 3 years, the new 2BBB premises were officially opened by Mr Jack Iggulden on September 13, 1986.