Tag Archives: Nick Xenophon

Senate Hearing: ABC & HF broadcasting

First thing I tuned to with my Elecraft KX2 in August 2016 was Radio Australia on 9,580 kHz. Radio Australia is no longer on shortwave.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nigel Holmes, who shares the following link to the ABC & HF broadcasting Senate Hearing and notes:

http://parlview.aph.gov.au/mediaPlayer.php?videoID=355749

3 hours in total.

Three quality options for streaming/download – Hi 1400 MB, Med 675 MB & Lo 250MB

Witnesses in order
1. DFAT (Foreign Affairs & Trade)
2. 52′ Gary Baker (ex-Broadcast Australia) and NH (ex-ABC/RA)
3. ABC
4. 2h22′ Graeme Dobell (ex-ABC/RA journalist & ABC Pacific correspondent) (By far the most interesting testimony, a tutorial in South Pacific geopolitics. Who knew the Australian Constitution refers to the S Pac in the External Affairs Powers area??!!)

I was tickled by Sen. Xenophon’s retort, “What, they don’t have ears?!” to ABCs assertion that letters of support (for HF b’casting) from the hobbyist fraternity were irrelevant. Sen. Xenophon could have added, “What, they don’t vote, pay taxes or are entitled to have a view of ABC?!”

A couple of you had trouble locating the submissions to the enquiry, they’re found here:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/Shortwaveradio/Submissions

Many thanks, Nigel, for sharing this and for your regular updates from the Senate.

Future of ABC Shortwave Service: Nigel Participates in Senate Committee Hearing

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:

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/abc-gets-wrong-south-pacific-service/ and here

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/smart-stuff-shortwave-south-pacific/

Interestingly another ex-RA journalist & RA senior executive Geoff Heriot wrote a recent piece critical of ABCs degradation of RA specialist programming. See here:

The crowded Pacific: re-considering the sharp edge of broadcasting’s soft power

Thank you, Nigel. We appreciate your updates and are certainly thankful that you have been representing the interests of those who believe in ABC maintaining a presence on shortwave.

ABC Amendment Billl Submissions & State Emergency Service

Front gate of the Shepparton Transmission site.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nigel Holmes, for sharing a link to the public submissions for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Amendment (Restoring Shortwave Radio) Bill 2017.

Click here to read submissions.


On a separate note, Nigel also sent info about the SES (State Emergency Service) in Australia. I didn’t know about this service. Nigel notes:

SES is State Emergency Service, we provide volunteer responses to storm, flood, land search, vehicle accident response (in rural areas).

All AUS emergency response services use HF–ditto sailors, private pilots, bushwalkers (hikers).

Individuals can get an Outpost license (400 W PEP) or Land/Marine Mobile license (125 W PEP) for $20 a year to use HF across the country for private or commercial communications. Cheaper than an amateur license ($60 /yr)!

Click here for more info about the SES.

Sale of Radio Australia site pushed before senate report

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nigel Holmes, who writes:

ABC anxious to annihilate HF as soon as possible. (ABC is Broadcast Australia’s largest customer by far, BAs income from Auntie is the ABCs largest sink of funds after salaries – several hundred million bucks per year)

http://www.sheppnews.com.au/2017/05/11/88161/radio-australia-for-sale

Radio Australia for sale

For sale, one large semi-rural 229ha block. Key features include large-scale grazing potential, two irrigation channels and a shortwave antenna that can broadcast to all over the globe.

The former shortwave broadcasting station that for decades sent the Radio Australia broadcast around the world was quietly put on the market a couple of weeks ago.

[…]The sale could throw into jeopardy any move to restart shortwave broadcasting, as it is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country.

South Australian NXT senator Nick Xenophon visited the site earlier in the year, and later introduced a bill to the senate to restart shortwave broadcasting.

The bill was sent to a senate inquiry and was due to report by August.

Former radio engineer at the site Gary Baker has been campaigning for the resumption of shortwave, and was not happy the site was on the market.

‘‘If the ABC has to start broadcasting internationally again this could cost taxpayers millions of dollars, which would be stupid,’’ Mr Baker said.

A sign in front of the property indicates that the closing date for expressions of interest in the property is in June.

Click here to read the full article at The Shepparton Times.

ABC opposes restoration of shortwave services

(Source: RNZ via Dennis Dura)

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.

Continue reading at RNZ’s website…