ABC Shortwave Service: Timeframe for Xenophon’s bill to travel through readings

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who shares the following comment regarding the timeline for Nick Xenophon’s bill to reinstate ABC shortwave services:

Don’t hold your breath on it coming back soon, if indeed it does. Here is the link to the bill:

The proposed amendment to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 states:

(1) The Corporation must maintain 3 domestic shortwave radio transmission services for the Northern Territory which:

(a) cover the same areas of the Northern Territory as the Corporation’s shortwave radio transmission services covered on 30 January 2017; and
(b) broadcast the proximate local radio service.

(2) The Corporation must maintain an international shortwave radio transmission service for Papua New Guinea and parts of the Pacific which:

(a) uses at least 3 transmitters; and
(b) broadcasts the Corporation’s international service; and
(c) broadcasts programs in languages appropriate for the countries to which they are broadcast.

The bill has had second reading in the Senate and has now been referred to committee (Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee). Their report is due on 10 May 2017!

If it successfully passes the committee stage, it then has third reading in the Senate after which it goes to the House of Representatives and so on.

A long process.

Many thanks, Richard. I suppose the upshot of this is it will give Australians plenty of time to persistently urge their representatives to support the bill.

For it to gain traction, Australian listeners must speak out now!

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5 thoughts on “ABC Shortwave Service: Timeframe for Xenophon’s bill to travel through readings

  1. Rodney Champness

    Radio Australia has provided an unbiassed impartial service to South East Asia and the South Pacific. It doesn’t appear to be so in recent years. Radio Australia can be a flag ship for telling people about our way of life and also to provide an alternative view. The service needs foreign language broadcasters as not all people in the target areas speak English.
    If finance is a problem it is possible that Radio Australia at Shepparton could provide a service to the Northern Territory with possibly one transmitter instead of three – it has in the past. Transmitting to international audiences will require several transmitters however, it may be prudent to see whether the transmissions are at times when listeners in those areas can receive them and have the opportunity to listen to them..
    As Shepparton is remote from the areas often afflicted by cyclones so it can and has provided services to areas where the local emergency services have been knocked out.

  2. Kire

    One question. How many of you all have even bothered to listen to ABC on the internet since they stopped 3 weeks ago? I know I haven’t.

    1. DanH

      Not me, although I have the connection and gear to do so. I’ve been listening to RNZI more than I did before RA shut down their SW service.

    2. RonF

      Not me – but I’ve been listening to ABC Radio National on MW (which, let’s be honest, was where a lot of RA’s content came from).

      However the ABC’s MD Michelle Guthrie has already hacked heavily into RN’s budget, and is on record as wondering why it even exists … so I expect it to be on the chopping block again sooner rather than later.

  3. Phil from Darwin

    Unfortunately we’re hearing that the NT transmitters may have been dismantled. This is not confirmed though.


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