Tag Archives: Radio Australia Shepparton

Michelle Guthrie: ABC cut shortwave to operate within “funding envelop”

(Source: The Guardian via Phil Brennan)

The ABC’s managing director, Michelle Guthrie, has told Senate estimates she believes it is not her job to lobby government for more funding for the broadcaster but to work within the budget she is given.

Under questioning at a fiery Senate estimates committee, Guthrie revealed she saw her role as a manager rather than an advocate for more funding, a marked difference from her predecessor Mark Scott who was a consistent lobbyist for additional funding and critic of government cuts.

“On my second day in the job I was handed down the triennial funding in the May budget and as far as I’m concerned we operate within that three-year funding envelope,” Guthrie said.

Asked repeatedly if she believed it was her role to seek more funding to fulfil the ABC’s charter she said no because her focus was on providing content and operating efficiently.

[…]“I think what you’re asking is reasonably hypothetical. We are operating within the government’s funding envelope and making decisions on audience behaviour and technological advancement.”

She also refused to concede that anyone other than the 15 people who called the ABC to complain, or the 51 who gave submissions to a Senate committee, had been affected by the decision to scrap the shortwave radio service.

She appeared before a Senate estimates committee on Tuesday, answering questions about the decision to end the broadcasting of local radio through shortwave channels in the Northern Territory and Pacific region. The decision was been widely criticised, including by all major parties.

Guthrie was unable to provide evidence of prior consultation on the decision and claimed the ABC was not the official emergency broadcaster.

Asked by Greens senator Scott Ludlam about the “extraordinary cuts” to Radio National features, religion and music, Guthrie dismissed his premise, saying: “I wouldn’t characterise taking three music programs away from RN as an extraordinary decision.”[…]

Read the full article at The Guardian online…

Radio Australia – The Last Two Minutes – January 31, 2017

Hi Folks,

Today I listened to Radio Australia for the very last time. 15240 kHz and 15415 kHz were plagued with local noise and not especially strong signals. So 17840 kHz was the best option for my final moments with this grand old shortwave broadcaster. Mount Evelyn is about 200 km south of the Shepparton transmitter site – not far enough for proper F layer reflection and off the side of the beam, so the signal was a bit scratchy. But I was there for the end and that’s the important thing!

Thank you to all the SWLing readers who have been so kind in their comments about our national broadcaster. I know RA meant much to so many people around the globe. But I’ll have more to say on this in the near future. Thanks to Thomas for helping to promote the Save Radio Australia cause. The fight is not over yet!

Here are the last two minutes of the broadcast today, including the audible switch-off click and a few parting comments from me.

73 and good DX to you all.

Rob Wagner VK3BVW

Letter from former District Manager at Radio Australia Shepparton

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, London Shortwave, who shares the following letter by Gary Baker, former district manager at Radio Australia, Shepparton–published in the Shepparton News. Here’s an excerpt:

Recently I heard that the HF radio transmission site at Shepparton, known as Radio Australia, is to be shut down.

[…]I understand the ABC needs to cut back on some services it provides and make use of the latest technology. This makes sense except in the case of the Shepparton facility.The Shepparton transmission site has the capability to direct radio signals into specific countries as we see fit.

This is unique to this site, as no other site can reach the countries this one can.

In my time as district manager at the Shepparton site, I recall some instances where the Shepparton site was called upon to direct radio signals to specific targets.

At one point the Fiji Government shut down the local Australian ABC transmitter.

Shepparton sent radio into that country to keep Australians informed during that time.

When there was a coup in the Solomon Islands, once again we sent signals into that country.

We also sent radio signals into Myanmar at the request of the Australian Government.

Another task that the Shepparton site fulfils is to send signals into northern Australia in times of need, for example during Cyclone Larry when the Northern Territory radio service was beamed back to the tropical north from Shepparton.

The Shepparton site is in a location that has good weather and is politically stable.

This makes it an ideal tool for widespread information broadcasting.

The ABC would argue that this HF radio service is old technology and can be replaced by the internet or satellite services.

This is true.

However, the ABC and the Federal Government do not control the internet or satellite services in other countries and therefore they are not reliable.

HF radio broadcasting from a secure location is very reliable.[…]

Read the full letter at the Shepparton News website. 

Radio Australia antenna azimuth settings

RA-PropMap

SWLing Post reader, George, recently asked about the new Radio Australia antenna settings accompanying the modified (trimmed) broadcast schedule.

The following are the new azimuth settings for the antennas at the Shepparton transmitter site:

  • 9,580 kHz: 070 degrees 0900-2100 UTC
  • 12,065 kHz: 355 degrees 0900-2100 UTC
  • 12,085 kHz: 030 degrees  0900-2100 UTC
  • 15,240 kHz: 030 degrees 2100-0900 UTC
  • 15,415 kHz: 355 degrees 2100-0900 UTC
  • 17,840 kHz: 070 degrees 2100-0900 UTC

Listen to the The Melbourne Cup on Radio Australia

Melbourn-CupJohn Figliozzi writes:

“Radio Australia will preempt its regular programming beginning at 0400 UT Tuesday to provide live coverage of the running of the 2013 Melbourne Cup horse race.  RA will have special programming at 0400 and 0530, before and after the race.  It will join the national sports program Grandstand beginning at 0430.  The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s greatest and most loved horse race and is run annually on the first Tuesday in November. It is known as “the Race that stops a Nation!”

Listeners can access the coverage via shortwave [9660, 12080, 15160, 15240, 15415, 15515, 17750, 17840, 21725; and 13630 after 0500 ] and the internet [http://www.abc.net.au/news/sport/] and [http://www.radioaustralia.net.au].”