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The ABC has turned off its shortwave radio transmitters, leaving Australians in remote areas without easy access to lifeline radio
OTTAWA — On Jan. 31, state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corp. shut down its shortwave radio transmitters; ending both international broadcasts of Radio Australia and the ABC’s domestic service in Australia’s Northern Territory. The transmitters were located at ABC broadcasting facilities at Katherine, Tennant Creek, and Roe Creek (Alice Springs).
According to the ABC news release that announced the shutdown on Dec. 6 — less than two months before it took place — “The move is in line with the national broadcaster’s commitment to dispense with outdated technology and to expand its digital content offerings including DAB+ digital radio, online and mobile services, together with FM services for international audiences.”
[…]The majority of ABC audiences in the Northern Territory currently access ABC services via AM and FM and all ABC radio and digital radio services are available on the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) satellite service.”[…]
I have been holding off posting three recordings I made on January 30, documenting a few minutes of the final evening of the ABC Darwin broadcasts from the transmitters at Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine.
I’m glad I took the time to prepare this video that is now available on my YouTube channel. There are lots of station identification announcements, and even information on how to listen to ABC after shortwave was switched off. Unfortunately, much of the advice is of no use to farmers and cattlemen camping out in remote parts of the NT bush, long-haul truck drivers, indigenous communities, tourists visiting the region, and fishermen off the territory’s northern coast.
Still, I hope you enjoy this brief video of the ABC’s last night of domestic broadcasting on shortwave. Click the video below.
73 and good DX to you all.
Rob Wagner VK3BVW
Rob Wagner, VK3BVW, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. He also blogs at the Mount Evelyn DX Report.
The government of Vanuatu sent a formal submission to the Australian Senate asking for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to resume its shortwave service.
[…]In a letter, Vanuatu’s prime minister Charlot Salwai said removing the shortwave service to Vanuatu could cost many lives in the likelihood of a major natural disaster, like cyclone Pam two years ago.
The Daily Post said radio broadcasts to remote parts of the country have been cited as a reason the death toll from the category five storm was relatively low.
After the storm there was practically no domestic communication, with shortwave the only radio means to reach a scattered population.
Mr Salwai said it could be reasonably stated that Australia’s shortwave service helps save Pacific lives and Australian tax dollars.