Minister for Regional Communications Bridget McKenzie has today confirmed the Government has no plans to re-establish the vital shortwave radio service in Northern Australia.
During Senate Question Time, Minister McKenzie was asked if she stood by her statement that the ABC’s decision to shut down the service following repeated budget cuts from the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government was ‘wrong and ill advised.’
Minister McKenzie stood by her comments today, but blamed the ABC for the decision without accepting responsibility for $254 million in Government cuts to the national broadcaster’s budget.
‘They do not understand what it means to live out in the regions. They think everybody is has this amazing connectivity and it’s an appalling decision. I stand by my comments…
‘They need to reinstate it. They need to revisit the decision.’
Senator Bridget McKenzie, Senate Question Time, 29 November 2018
Quite clearly Minister McKenzie and her Government seem content to lay all the blame on the ABC for the end of this vital service, without owning the fact that they have slashed hundreds of millions from the national broadcaster.
The Government is also acknowledging the need for this service, but is making no effort to get it back up and running.
Labor is committed to fixing this issue, and has committed $2 million to re-establishing the service used by hundreds of thousands of people across the most remote parts of Australia.
While this Government has stopped governing, Labor is continuing to look for solutions to the problems facing Regional Australians.