Radio Australia shortwave services silenced: “Like listening to our old aunt passing away”

Locals hold a wake to signal demise of ABC shortwave service; destroy a donated shortwave radio with a golden sledge hammer.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Dura, who shares the following report via ABC News 24 on Twitter:

Click here to view this video on ABC News 24’s Twitter feed.

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16 thoughts on “Radio Australia shortwave services silenced: “Like listening to our old aunt passing away”

  1. Troy Riedel

    “Like listening to our old aunt passing away”???

    No, girlfriend. Ex-girlfriend.

    Oh, she’s STILL out there. She’s hanging with “Satellite” (makes more money than I do). And hanging with FM (he is sexier). But me? Mr. Shortwave … I’ve gotten older. Gained some weight. And I lost my hair. She (Radio Australia) packed-up and left me … left me behind.

    I didn’t stay home to watch her leave. Instead I came home to the empty house … where there were dust circles on the end tables left from where her lamps sat for years.

    No, she ain’t dead! She’s still alive. She’s out there. She just chose to leave. Chose to leave ME, Mr. Shortwave.

    C’est la vie.

  2. Keith Perron

    Funny how the people in this report said nothing until the very end. Why did they not come forward sooner? Instead the ABC/RA got responses from DXERS who don’t live in the target area.

    1. Thomas Post author

      From what I gather, a very large number of Australians protested the closure of the shortwave services and many contacted their representatives after news of the closure spread. I’ve gotten emails from listeners in the Outback who aren’t radio enthusiasts, but listened to the NT service on shortwave for most of their lives. To them, ABC shortwave wasn’t a hobby, it was more like a public service/utility.

    2. John Zavacki

      There had been active petitions and formal request/compaints since the first announcement to shut it down, even very vocal opposition from high standing public officials, from what I’ve read. All ignored by the powers that be.

    3. Kire

      When your in the bush, it takes time to get the word out to get organised, etc. This summers closure was pretty much unannounced and they were back on after two weeks. Alot of people thought it was scheduled maintenence.

    4. RonF

      Speak for yourself, Keith. Although I’m not in the target area for either the NT or RA services and therefore probably “just a DXer” in your eyes, I’m an Australian in Australia who did speak up – signed the petitions; wrote & spoke to my local member, communications minister, PM, and other politicians who’d commented on it; spoke to the relevant ABC people I could get hold of; and wrote to Michelle Guthrie about it.

      Is that “come[ing] forward” enough for you?

  3. Luke Perry

    Yeah, I didn’t really want yo hear ‘the end’ but I am a glutton for punishment I guess. The sign off pretty much was on par with how the decision to end their shortwave service(s). No announcement or anything, just right to the interval signal and then dead air. Pretty cheap if you ask me and it is a big disservice to every listener and employee who was vested emotionally in the station. Sorry, I listen to radio not to the computer so I doubt I will be seeking them out anytime soon.

    1. RonF

      Err … they destroyed what looks like a Digitech AR-1748 (Redsun or clone) donated by the local Jaycar shop/dealer. An average performer, way overpriced here, and poorly-built – I know the guys at one of the local stores hated them for their DOA / infant mortality rate. It’s only real saving grace is an IF output.

      Personally I think they did the world a favour, and if I’m wrong there’s a few million identical others to take its place…

  4. Philippe Aeby

    What a shame and sad day! The people who the decision to scrap on shortwave should wonder why an high-tech nation like Japan is keeping their NSB shortwave service alive. One can reach -any- citizen at -any- time in case of emergency. The network is used under normal condition for financial and horse racing news.

    Get ABC back on shortwave!

    1. john herman

      music teacher in elementary school played Waltzing Matilda on an autoharp. In 1968 I first hrd it on RA you can imagine my surprise.

    2. RonF

      I’m not an especially sentimental person, but me neither.

      As a kid RA, being local, was my first ‘catch’ on my first radio – one of those Tandy [Radio Shack] regen kits that used a red molded plastic baseboard. Got it for Christmas, built it with help from my father, hooked it up, and – once I figured out how to stop it from squealing 😉 – the first thing I heard was “Waltzing Matilda” from what sounded like an old music box ;).

      As an Aussie, it’s always sent a tingle down my spine. I can’t bring myself to watch/listen to any of the recordings of the final sign-off…

  5. John Zavacki

    Terrible that the ego of one sanctimonious person is all it takes to put so many peoples safety in danger and leave them out of contact, ignoring the voices of the public and their elected officials.


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