It is now clear that the ABC and Turnbull Government don’t care about people in the bush.
“By refusing to change or defer the decision to terminate its shortwave radio transmission service in the Northern Territory at the end of January, the ABC is disregarding the pleas of those Territorians who rely on the service.” Warren Snowdon and Senator Malarndirri McCarthy said today.
“The ABC can’t say they haven’t heard these pleas, because they have had the voices of Territorians making them on their own programs.”
“What the National Broadcaster has demonstrated is that it cares little for the concerns of remote listeners in the NT who rely on shortwave radio for emergency broadcasting because they are a small audience who do not seem to warrant consultation.
“The ABC has rebuffed our request that the decision to end shortwave radio be deferred pending consultation with affected listeners in the NT. Twice we have written to the Managing Director of the ABC, Michelle Guthrie, and aside from a very unsatisfactory meeting with management representatives, Ms Guthrie has not contacted either of us directly to discuss the representations we have made on behalf of Territorians in the bush.”
“It is also noteworthy that at a time the Turnbull Government is self-flagellating over its need to listen to the voices of ordinary Australians we haven’t heard a peep from them over this issue.”
“It is clear that while shedding crocodile tears about the need to listen, the Turnbull Government doesn’t really care about people in the bush. And those in the National Party who are shedding most of these tears have done absolutely diddly-squat.”
“We again call on the ABC management and Board to do the right thing and heed the concerns of the most powerless of their audience and defer their decision to close their shortwave service to the bush indefinitely to allow for a proper consultation with the current users of this service.
“To do anything less will just confirm in the minds of many that the ABC is out of touch with listeners in the bush.
“This is a sorry start to the new year for remote Territorians.” Mr Snowdon and Senator Malarndirri McCarthy said.