Shepparton IHFTS for sale: land banking opportunity

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nigel Holmes, who shares the photo above and notes:

Better get your cameras & long lenses oiled & hard hats, safety glasses & ear plugs ready. Or see your bank manager about an investment loan. I wonder if Babcock want a site down here?

Certainly not encouraging in terms of any future for this former Radio Australia transmission site. I imagine there would be a substantial up-front cost to simply tear down the existing infrastructure.

Thanks for the tip, Nigel!

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9 thoughts on “Shepparton IHFTS for sale: land banking opportunity

  1. Keith Perron

    Shepparton is owned by Broadcast Australia not the government and not the ABC.

    It’s 2017 and technology and now platforms in RA’s target area has boomed in the last 5 years. This is a reality.

    Technology changes. Why keep pumping money into something that is already on it’s last legs makes no sense. Land that we bought a number of years ago for a small 5kW and 20kW used for China has dramatically increased. Even with the investment we made to build the site makes no difference, because when we sell it to a property developer at the end of this year. The transmitters will be sold of as scrap metal along with everything else.

    1. Paul

      We agree to a point – but target areas are not just the major cities.
      When I’ve been in these areas yes there was some newer technology that worked however it was not robust or reliable in any form of extreme weather event and vulnerable to a single point of failure.
      Consumer grade satellite and internet technologies are great when they work but nothing to rely upon.
      Heck this rubbish is unreliable and just as vulnerable in major Australian cities today.
      IP networks and point to point technologies are useless for broadcast purposes and struggle when theirs even the hint of power outage, emergency demand. Think census PPP, backhoe through fibre link, SA going dark – all mobile infrastructure congested and then dead after 4 hours.
      Which way do sat dishes point after a cyclone?
      Defence use satellite extensively, but rely on HF and have reinvested heavily.
      A solid, reliable broadcasting capability is essential as a minimum comprehensive service, the others are nice to have and a boon for many reasons, but remain fragile.

      1. Keith Perron

        In the Pacific which is Radio Australia’s target. Countries such as Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands and others have very rapid growing mobile phone networks. During the last few cyclones that hit the regions. Mobile network continued to work. And even in the areas like the Highlands on PNG now have excellent mobile coverage.

  2. RonF

    It’s been a while since I’ve been down that way, but I understand the site itself has been under development pressure for years. It’s just on the outskirts of the city, right next to the main highway, across the road from a large regional private school, and is basically prime land ripe for peri-urban development.

    I know it’s not really any consolation, but even if RA had continued it’s likely they would have been forced to move sooner rather than later.

    1. John Howieson

      So Ron, Do you think this decision was mainly government’s decision for financial opportunities ? Most governments have a hard time (not!) spending tax payer’s money, and here is a cash cow for them. Tax payers should march and ask for tax reductions!!!!! Ain’t gonna happen, eh?

      1. RonF

        I don’t really think the sale is a government decision at all – at least, not directly – & I don’t see how the government stands to gain from the sale of the property (except, again, indirectly – stamp duty/title transfer fees, corporate taxes, etc; & the first 2 are state gov’t revenue, not federal).

        Sure, the government starves the ABC of funding, that led directly to the RA & ABC NT SW shutdowns, and the (federal) government is short-sighted verging on malicious & probably _did_ lean on the ABC to shut those services down. But, from what I can see from a quick non-official title search, the Shepparton site appears to be owned by Broadcast Australia, not the government – freehold/leasehold ownership of most (all?) transmitter sites were transferred to the gov’t-owned National Transmission Authority before it was privatised as Broadcast Australia nearly 20 years ago. So it’s hard to see how any “financial opportunism” benefits the gov’t holding the ABC purse strings. BA – a private company – gets the money, not the gov’t.

        In short, no, I don’t think the decision to sell the Shepparton site “was mainly government’s decision for financial opportunities”, nor will it be a “cash cow” for them. At best, it saves them paying the ABC a bit more money in the future…

        1. RonF

          I should also add that you’ll get no argument from me about the short-sightedness of the decision to shut down the RA & ABC NT SW services – it’s a decision that not only severely affects some people domestically, but also hurts our international relationships & status in the Pacific. All in the name of saving what is a paltry amount of money; a fraction of a % of the ABC’s gov’t funding. And I’ve actively presented this view to the minister responsible, the senate committee & its members who were investigating the decision, and my local senators & MHR, as well as supporting the bill to reinstate the services.

  3. John Howieson

    I find it quite sad how “governments” make rash decisions without doing the math, or researching their affects. I read some weeks ago the plea from Radio NZ who last I heard was looking after its neighbouring islands in the case of emergency. But Australia simply drops the matter entirely.

    But perhaps Amateur Radio Operators can figure out an emergency strategy, inclusive of their island neighbours AMEN!


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