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Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nigel Holmes–formerly of Radio Australia–for the following update regarding Nick Xenophon’s bill to resume ABC shortwave services:
Last Friday I travelled to Canberra and fronted the Senate Committee hearing testimony on the matter of HF broadcasting & Senator Xenophon’s Bill to compel ABC to resume HF domestically & for RA. I was grilled like a breakfast kipper. It went well.
Another witness was Graeme Dobell, a legendary radio & print journalist who has travelled & worked all over the Pacific region. Graeme has written some good articles on the current subject. See here:
It shows that radio very much remains a big part of people’s lives in the bush, particularly AM radio. I’m sure these findings would be replicated in the Northern Territory where I live, but as you are only too aware, we’ve had our remote SW radio service axed by the ABC. Anyway, it may be of interest to you and your readers.
Thank you for the tip, Phil. This is a pretty fascinating report. As you mention, the use of AM radio is quite heavy–no doubt due to the vast broadcast footprint. It’s this sort of report that should have been done prior to any decision about axing ABC’s NT shortwave service.
ABC opposes bill to restore Pacific shortwave service
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has made a Senate submission opposing a bill which would force it to restore its shortwave services for the Northern Territory and the Pacific.
The bill was introduced by South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon after the ABC switched off its shortwave transmitters in late January.
The ABC is opposed to the bill and said in its submission that its passing would impinge on its independence by directing the ABC to use broadcast technologies for diminishing audiences and at significant maintenance costs.
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.”[…]