The decision by the ABC to cease operation of the shortwave services in the Northern Territory today is now proven to be callous, irresponsible and ill-informed.
It is callous because it was taken pre-emptively without any knowledge or apparent understanding of the impact of the decision on some of its most reliant and loyal audience. These are Australians who live and work in remote Australia,who have no other option but the ABC shortwave service which as of today -is lost to them.
It is irresponsible and ill-informed because it means some Australians will no longer have access to radio services to alert them to emergency announcements and there are no alternate technologies currently available to ill this void.
Belatedly, the ABC has admitted they have no idea of the real impact of its decision.
This makes the axing of the shortwave service even more pathetic and highlights why the ABC Board should today defer the decision until a proper evaluation is made.
To take no action will confirm the view that Territorians who live and work in the bush are not valued by the ABC or by the Turnbull Government whose silence on this issue has been deafening and shameful.
The $1.2m taken from the much needed shortwave services in the bush is going to improve digital services to metropolitan listeners who already have a diversity of listening choices, not available to those dependent on the shortwave services.
We are disgusted with the ABC Board and its senior management for proceeding with this decision.
This is not the end. The Territory’s Federal Labor team will use next week’s resumption of Parliament to continue to fight for Territorians whose lives literally depend on shortwave services.
31 JANUARY 2017
Marcus Feaver (Snowdon) 08 8983 3219
Johanna Kerin (McCarthy) 0417 387 775
Francine Chinn (Gosling) 0429 134 508