Tag Archives: Radio Australia Cuts

“Why Australia must restore shortwave radio to the Pacific”

(Source: Devpolicy Blog via Mike Bird)

On our Australian doorstep is an amazing place, Papua New Guinea. Seven of us were there for the month of August, exploring a remote region of islands and atolls in the Massim district of Milne Bay Province by boat, visiting places most people would not think of seeing.

[…]As Australians we were warmly received everywhere. Australia was the PNG administrator for decades and has left many good things in place. The Australian influence was there in diverse ways, including an inspired wooden Hills Hoist and outdoor bench setting at Boagis village, way out at the extreme end of PNG territory.

[…]But there was a worrying side that we shared. We visited many remote islands where basic services are deplorable, particularly their health services. At one sub-provincial health centre in Guasopa village [Woodlark Island], they had nothing but Panadol. We shared our first aid resources and knowledge, and treated those we could with spare drugs we had brought from Australia. There are so many issues facing PNG that we despaired at its future prospects.

Australia is the lucky country, but right now New Guinea is not. We were most surprised and quite angry to learn that Radio Australia no longer transmits to the region, or even the wider Pacific. One small service that Australia could offer is the return of shortwave radio.

The island of Panaeati, south of Misima, is typical of many we visited. It has a population of 2,080 people, many well educated, and fluent in English. The missions and the former Australian administration are responsible for this. Our contacts there expressed great disappointment at the loss of Radio Australia services in January 2017. So much so, that they discussed the prospect of raising a petition at local government level to the Australian government.[…]

Click here to read the full article at the DevPolicy Blog.

The Guardian: Study shows ABC cuts to shortwave & rural broadcasts “jeopardising safety of remote communities”

(Source: The Guardian via Ian P)

Reduction of local news and station closures disastrous for people living outside Australia’s cities, researchers say

Cuts to the ABC in regional and rural Australia and the corporation’s increasing reliance on digital technologies is jeopardising the safety of remote communities and their access to emergency warnings, Deakin University research has found.

The ABC’s increasingly “digital-first” approach to emergency information and the reduction in ABC reporters’ local knowledge is causing great distress among rural populations who rely on broadcast signals because they don’t have the bandwidth or coverage for digital, researchers say.

A reduction of local news and information, centralised newsrooms in metropolitan areas, the closure of several ABC stations and the scaling back of broadcast programming has been disastrous for people outside the cities, according to a new study, Communication life line? ABC emergency broadcasting in rural/regional Australia.

But the ABC has played down the study’s significance, saying it is based on parliamentary submissions and is not an “accurate or up-to-date” summary of the corporation’s role in rural and regional Australia; and that the ABC is not funded as an emergency service.

Based on public submissions to a parliamentary inquiry, the researchers Julie Freeman, Kristy Hess and Lisa Waller found “burgeoning discontent about the corporation’s ability to fulfil its role as a designated emergency broadcaster and provide communication life lines to rural and regional communities”.[…]

Continue reading at The Guardian.

Nick Xenophon champions review of ABC shortwave broadcasting to Pacific

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ian P, who shares the following via ABC News:

ABC shortwave broadcasting to the Pacific to be reviewed

The decision to end Australian shortwave broadcasting to the Pacific earlier this year could be revisited.

There’s to be a review of Asia Pacific broadcasting services, as part of a wide ranging package of reforms to the country’s media laws agreed to by independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

The Department of Communications and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are to conduct a review, including examining whether shortwave radio technology should be used.

The review will include public consultation and the report will be made public.

Senator Nick Xenophon has been strenuously opposed the decision by the ABC to end shortwave services, and he was a key crossbench figure in negotiations over the media reforms.

Click here to download the interview.

Click here to read and listen to the interview via ABC News.

ABC scolded for cutting shortwave service

(Source: news.com.au via Trevor R)

The ABC has been slammed by all sides of politics over its “foolish” decision to cut the transmission of shortwave radio to remote Australia and the Pacific Islands.

The Senate debated a private bill on Thursday by crossbench senator Nick Xenophon to force the ABC to restore transmission after it was cut earlier this year.

“It seems a terrible decision that’s been made by the ABC board,” Senator Xenophon told parliament, accusing the public broadcaster of ignoring the bush and Australia’s neighbours.
The ABC insists listeners can still tune in via FM and AM frequencies, the viewer access satellite television (VAST) service and online.

But senators say the ABC fails to understand those alternative methods are not available to everyone in the bush and the information people are missing out on can be life threatening, such as weather warnings.

Senator Xenophon said the ABC had miscalculated how many people relied on the service.
“There are some question marks over the methodology used by the ABC in relation to this.”

Continue reading the full article at news.com.au…

Senate rejects bill to restore Australia’s shortwave services

(Source: Radio Info)

Bill to restore shortwave rejected by Senate Committee

A Senate Committee inquiring into the possibility of restoring ABC Shortwave services has rejected proposed legislation to restore the international radio service.

Several members of the committee presented dissenting reports.

The ABC ended its shortwave transmission service in the Northern Territory and to international audiences from 31 January 2017, in line with the national broadcaster’s commitment to dispense with outdated technology and to expand its digital content offerings.

On 16 February 2017, the Senate referred the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Amendment (Restoring Shortwave Radio) Bill 2017 to the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee for inquiry and report in May but an extension of time to report was granted, until yesterday, 9 August.

Read more at: https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/bill-restore-shortwave-rejected-senate-committee

UPDATE: Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who also shares an informative link to the Parliament of Australia’s website.