Last night in the Federation Chamber Mr Snowdon asked Paul Fletcher, the Minister representing the Communications Minister, for answers as to the reckless and ill-considered shut down of shortwave radio services by the ABC in the Northern Territory.
“He refused to give Territorians the answers they deserve,” Mr Snowdon said.
This represented a continuation of the silence and lack of action from the government on what is a significant issue for Territorians.
He was asked what money, if any had been set aside in the budget to provide a replacement service that is actually effective and works for those formerly reliant on ABC shortwave radio.
“Once again, I did not receive an answer.” Mr Snowdon said.
“It has now been over 4 months since the service was shut down, and countless Territorians have told me how much of a loss this important, indeed potentially life-saving service is (or was) to them.”
“We still have no answers as to the lack of consultation of Territorians prior to the shutdown.”
“We still have no answers as to how Territorians in remote areas can now access important emergency warnings when on the move, given the VAST system mooted as a replacement by the ABC cannot operate as a mobile system.”
“And we still have no answers as to how the government can claim to care about rural and remote Australians whilst completely abandoning the north,” Mr Snowdon said.
Territorians deserve answers, not the disrespect, disdain and disregard shown to them last night, and they deserve not to be treated like this by the government, as has been the case time and time again.