Tag Archives: Australia

If elected, Labor commits to provide $2 million to restore ABC shortwave radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ian P, who shares the following story and interview via ABC News Northern Territory Country Hour. I strongly suggest listening to the full seven plus minute interview via the embedded audio player below:

Click here to download audio.

If elected next year, Federal Labor says it will provide the ABC with $2 million in funding to help re-establish shortwave radio services across the Northern Territory.

The ABC controversially switched off its shortwave service in January 2017, and defended the decision by saying it would “only affect a very, very small amount of people” and save taxpayers up to $1.9 million.

The decision was heavily criticised by industry groups such as the NT Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) and the NT Seafood Council.

NTCA president Chris Nott welcomed today’s announcement by Labor and said the ABC’s decision was short-sighted.

“What people take for granted in the cities is a luxury for those of us in the bush,” Mr Nott said.

“We rely on the HF shortwave radio transmitters because we don’t have mobile and data coverage for AM and FM radio stations.

“The ABC can expand its modern day platforms all it likes but the truth is we don’t all have access to it and the ABC did not care at all about the impact of its decision.”

Federal Member for Solomon Luke Gosling, said the axing of shortwave had angered a lot of people and community groups.

“Many thousands will benefit from this [bringing back shortwave],” he told the Country Hour.

“I was lobbied by a really large cross-section of the community that spends time in remote areas and when shortwave was cut there was a lot of angst, so it will be a good thing to bring it back to keep people on the land and waters connected.”

Click here to read via ABC News.

Many thanks, Ian!

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School of the Air celebrates 60 years and a vision of independence

(Source: ABC News vi Kim Elliott)

Parents of children in South Australia’s outback are calling for the state’s School of the Air to become independent so it has more control over how students learn.

The school at Port Augusta in the state’s north has marked its 60th anniversary of delivering lessons to students in remote areas.

When the school began in 1958, lessons were given via high frequency (HF) radio, but are now done over the internet.

In 1991, the School of the Air amalgamated with the SA Correspondence School to become Open Access College, which is based in Adelaide.

At a recent meeting in Port Augusta, the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association called for the School of the Air to become an autonomous education provider.

The association’s north-west branch president Lynly Kerin said it was “no longer beneficial or manageable” for the school to be part of the college, and that its 49 students were being overlooked in the college’s cohort of 5,600 students.

Ms Kerin said the School of the Air community felt “overshadowed by decisions being made by people who may not understand the needs of our kids out here in remote areas”.

“At the very least, we request that the Minister look at an investigation into the change that we’re proposing,” she said.[…]

Continue reading at ABC News.

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4KZ update: Transmitting low power for now

The 4KZ transmitter is located in Innisfail, Australia

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jerome van der Linden, who writes:

Have been communicating with Al Kirton (4KZ, Innisfail, Queensland Manager), and by virtue of my membership of a couple of Facebook groups for caravan (trailer to you) owners in Australia, have publicized the fact that Al is keen for reception reports from people in the target area.

Al also advised that they’re not even on 500 watts at the moment:

“We are only on 300 watts due to the fact that we only have one of the two 600 watt RF modules working.(Half of the 600 watts in the good module is lost into the combiner). It should be much better on ~ 1 Kw when the part arrives from the USA and the module is repaired.”

Thank you for the update, Jerome!

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4KZ celebrating 50 years, now on shortwave

The 4KZ transmitter is located in Innisfail, Australia

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Australian broadcaster celebrating on shortwave

As part of 50th celebrations, radio broadcaster 4KZ in Northern Queensland is now on 5055 kHz and already getting signal reports including from North America and New Zealand.

General Manager of NQ Radio (4KZ, 4AM, 4AY, KIK FM & KOOL FM), Al Kirton announced the decision to SWLing Post in May, and now confirms the transmission began on December 20.

He told the WIA: “Unfortunately we are on half power for a couple of weeks until one of the RF boards can be repaired, then we will go up to I kW.”

The shortwave broadcast is from a site at east Innisfail in Tropical North Queensland. Mr Kirton said the USA-made 1.2 kW transmitter being used is feeding an Inverted V antenna at about 14 metres high at the peak.

The program is from the 4KZ and 4AY AM band transmitters and designed to cover the Cape York area and the northern outback. However the 60m band signal has been heard further away.

He said: “I have had many reception reports, many with audio clips”, some from Queensland, Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria, as well as from “Monterey USA, Alberta Canada and New Zealand.”

The transmission hours are about 0500 to 2300 hours UTC. All confirmed reception reports will receive a 4KZ shortwave QSL card. No return postage is required.

Reports by email to Al Kirton (al@nqradio.com.au) or to Radio 4KZ, PO Box 19, Innisfail Queensland 4860 Australia.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation stopped its shortwave services to the northern outback in January 2017.

Jim Linton VK3PC

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