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Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

MEDIA RELEASE: ABC shortwave decision ignores bush people - NTCA President

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Press Release


ABC shortwave decision ignores bush people - NTCA President

The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) has expressed anger and disbelief at this week’s announcement by the ABC that its Territory shortwave transmission services will be switched off early next year in favour of more modern digital services for capital cities. The NTCA calls on the ABC to immediately reverse the decision or to replace with an alternative.

The national broadcaster has announced that it will shut down its HF shortwave radio transmitters on 31 January 2017, in line with its commitment to do away with outdated technology and expand on modern digital services.

NTCA President Tom Stockwell has warned that many remote-living Territorians will suffer the consequences of having their communications life-line cut. “This decision is yet another example of vital services being removed from the bush without any consultation and completely ignores the critical communication needs of people living in isolation,” a furious Mr. Stockwell said today.

"This decision will seriously impact on significant numbers of rural Australians, among them many of our own members and other rural Territorians who rely solely on the shortwave radio network because they can’t access other forms of communications including AM or FM radio and mobile phone coverage.”

"Anybody who's living and working in a remote location and away from a satellite dish won't get local radio, won't get emergency radio, and won't get emergency messages. Despite this, they’re going to use the money to put in another digital platform in capital cities.

In its announcement, ABC said changed services would include DAB+ digital radio, online and mobile services, as well as FM services for international audiences. ABC Radio will continue to broadcast on FM and AM bands, via the viewer access satellite television (VAST) service, streaming online and via the mobile phone application.

More details about the proposed new services can be obtained by calling the ABC’s advice line, 1300 139 994, or via ABC Local Radio in Darwin and Alice Springs.

Media Release 412KB

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