Heckling, finger pointing, verbal outbursts and accusations second class citizens were being created.
Just your average country town community radio station Annual General Meeting at 2MIA studios in Griffith on Thursday.
It all started cordially enough, when 2MIA president Dolf Murwood opened the meeting by highlighting a year in which he thought 2MIA had progressed more than any other community radio station in the state.
But the temperature was high in the non-air-conditioned hall of the studios, and it didn't take long before tempers started to boil over.
The first dispute was sparked by Mr Murwood’s announcement a station “supporter” category was being initiated, to go along with the “full members”. Supporters would pay $20 a year, rather than $35, and not have to attend meetings.
Member James Tongue rose to his feet and said “you’re taking us back 50 years, when we had second class citizens”.
“We’re not forcing anyone to be just a supporter, everyone is free to become a member. At the moment, there’s no way to support the station but not get involved,” Mr Murwood told The Area News on Friday.
Mr Tongue walked out of the meeting after the argument.
“I refused to become a second class citizen,” he told The Area News as he headed towards his car.
Ex-member and long-time 2MIA critic Lance Perry rose to his feet to speak soon after.
“Sit down Lance Perry,” Mr Murwood said.
Mr Murwood said only members can speak at AGMs, and Mr Perry had his membership fees refunded as requested.
Mr Perry has been critical of the station since his radio program was cancelled in 2015.
When Mr Murwood called the AGM to a close, it didn’t end the drama, with people interjecting, asking why there was no “general business” discussed.
Mr Murwood said there was no general business at AGMs, but allowed presenter Bruno Guidolin to speak.
Mr Guidolin expressed anger about what he perceived as a lack of training for presenters.
Mr Murwood said all presenters are provided basic training, and the station are happy to meet with them at an agreed time for further help.
Former 2MIA president Maurice Pfitzner was another critic of the present day establishment at the AGM.
“This is supposed to be a community radio station, but I don’t see a cross section of the community here,” he said, as he pointed to a room dominated by older white people.
Mr Murwood said all ethnic groups are always welcome at the station, and they have presenters of many different nationalities.
Mr Murwood said the drama of the meeting has not taken the gloss off a great year for the station, which saw their licence renewed, outdoor broadcasting launched, vinyl records revived and a state government funding boost.
If you’d like to get involved with the station, contact them through their website https://www.2miafm.org.au/, where you can also tune in to the station digitally.