Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Phil Brennan, who shares the following press release from ABC Friends.
ABC Friends represents the community’s interest in independent national public broadcasting:
NEW THREAT TO LIVES IN OUTBACK
PLEA FOR URGENT MINISTERIAL ACTION
An urgent call for ministerial action to protect short wave services in Northern and Central Australia has been made by ABC Friends National.
“It is the responsibility of both the Minister for Communications Senator Fifield and the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to respond to this very real need with urgency,’” said ABC Friends National President Margaret Reynolds today.
ABC Friends National sent a letter in December to Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, urging him to intervene so as to guarantee the ABC had sufficient funding to maintain the short wave service – which is so essential in rural and remote areas.
“Furthermore a number of Pacific Island states also rely on this service especially in the current cyclone season,” Margaret Reynolds said, “Pacific leaders have expressed concern about a loss of this service.”
”It is unacceptable to simply blame the ABC when government funding has been reduced so severely in recent years.”
“The ABC cannot provide adequate communication services for all Australians in isolated regions as well as support our Pacific neighbours if it is constantly facing funding cutbacks.”
“The Australian Government must accept that, ultimately, short wave services can provide early warning and be an important preventative disaster measure,” she said.
National President ABC Friends
Yes I have sent a copy to the federal member for Kennedy, Bob Katter in Mt Isa.
I’m sure he is on side and pushing this one as it does affect many inhis area.
I will also be sending a copy to ABC management.
I am expressing great disappointment regarding the curtailing of Radio Australia’s outback shortwave service,
We rely on these transmissions as there is no reliable medium wave or FM service especially during the day,
During recent flooding around MT Isa/Julia creek etc we relied on information gleaned from Radio Australia/ABC shortwave service as we were between Boulia and Bedourie and no info was available due to the non existant airwave services out here, no mobile phone coverage and Sat phone was not making good contact we assume due to heavy cloud cover, the only other signals we could reliably receive during the day were Radio New Zealand and China Drive from Bejing and they were no help as to local area flooding.
Please reconsider what has been a vital service to many in the outback.
We regularly listen to Radio Australia whilst travelling on our Pioneer truck radio equiped with shortwave as it often provides the only readable local signal of any sort in outback areas of Western QLD, Northern S.A, and the teritory and W.A.
I trust those who actually live , travel and work in remote areas will be listened to as most Australians
have good communications, however we don’t.
Long distance HF radio will be the most reliable comms when and if major digital/satellite disruption occurs, this is not so unlikely and the time it takes to reinstitute SW services if this occurs will not be immediate.
Radio Australia is an iconic institution and we have travelled the world with our portable SW radios and kept in touch with local home news and sounds.
regards Ross Wood.
Ross, have you sent your thoughts and comments to the ABC and the Federal Government yet? It’s important that they hear feedback such as yours.
Best wishes, Rob VK3BVW