Xenophon introduces bill which would force ABC to bring back shortwave broadcasts

(Source: Shepparton News)

The shortwave broadcast station which beamed Radio Australia to the Pacific from Shepparton could be coming back online.

Senator Nick Xenophon (Source: Twitter)

South Australian senator Nick Xenophon earlier this week introduced a bill to parliament, which if passed would force the ABC to bring back shortwave broadcasts.

[…]Senator Xenophon criticised the decision, which was made by ABC management and not the Federal Government, labelling it shortsighted.

‘‘The response to the shortwave cut-off demonstrates the woeful inadequacy of the ABC’s consultation process,’’ Senator Xenophon said.

‘‘Not only have we heard from many rural Australians concerned about the decision, our near neighbours such as Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea have also voiced serious concerns.’’

[…]‘‘The cost-cutting decision will save $1.9million a year — a tiny fraction of the ABC’s $1billion-plus annual budget,’’ he said.[…]

Read the full story at the Shepparton News.

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4 thoughts on “Xenophon introduces bill which would force ABC to bring back shortwave broadcasts

  1. Richard Langley

    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.

  2. Ross Wood

    More power to you Nick Xenaphon!
    The termination of R’ Australia’s Pacific service has occurred when greater communication is required around the world and placing a few low powered FM transmitters in some dubious Pacific locations does not replicate one of the best signals on the SW bands.
    R’ Australia’s Shepparton transmitters and antenna farm projects a powerful signal into areas not targeted including most of the USA , Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, western South America and our Pacific neighbours and friends.
    In my travels around the globe over the years a modest SW portable has enabled me to stay in touch with home in areas as diverse as South Africa, Scandinavia; USA; Canada and NZ.
    When living in Bethesda Maryland 1/2 mile across the line with Washington DC R’ Australia was a good signal into the region and was listened to by expats and locals for a contrast to the local take on world affairs.
    The respect that R’ Australia receives for its excellent programming is well known and at one time when transmissions were targeting Japan the morning show audience was in the millions due to the interest in Australia.
    So when the usual summer cyclone period sweeps through the North /NW of Australia and the Pacific (ie recently Vanauatu) and levels the meagre FM site antennas maybe some lessons will be learned!
    As far as I’m aware Shepparton has not been hit by a cyclone and would continue to transmit with a powerful signal with a range way beyond its design parameters bringing to particularly Australian rural/ remote and Pacific populations who don’t have continuous access to 1st world comms systems available to Canberrans and the coastal citicentric understandings of 90% of Australians.
    This is a very short sighted move and will be seen for what it is in due course,
    Nick Xenaphon states it is costing $1.9 Mil, this is a drop in the bucket for the value it provides and the world population it indirectly accesses.
    Inexpensive highly capable SW radios are now available and can be carried personally anywhere, In hilly terrain FM signals are often poor or non existent ie the highlands of New Guinea.
    HF is a very reliable and effective communications tool and is not redundant!


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