Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Letters to the Editor

David Lee January 25, 2017


Dear Editor,

A little while ago we were about to lose one of Shepparton’s main icons – SPC Ardmona, it was saved through the efforts of many people locally and further afield.

We are now about to lose another lesser known Shepparton icon – Radio Australia. Radio Australia through the largest radio transmitting station in Australia and possibly the Southern Hemisphere situated in Verney Road has been transmitting the message about our way of life in Australia and giving unbiased news to the South Pacific and Asia since 1944. The ABC has decided to close Radio Australia and the inland services in the Northern Territory as from January 31, 2017. They claim that people in the affected areas have access to the internet and to local FM broadcasts sponsored by the ABC. This is largely not so as for example people in Fiji who do receive Radio Australia programs well are paid on average $3 per hour and a box of breakfast cereals can cost upwards of $8. They and people in many other parts of Asia and the Pacific are equally poor. A number of these countries impose censorship on radio stations in their countries and once again as an example the ABC radio stations in Fiji were closed down for a couple of years as the ruling junta did not like the truth getting to their people. Many Australian tourists overseas love listening to Macca of a Sunday morning via Radio Australia.

Whilst most people around Shepparton may not be directly affected by this move, I and many others believe that we in Australia should tell the world about us and not hide our light under a bushel as the saying goes. Aren’t we proud of Australia? To see more about this from the ABC’s myopic point of view look at the site  < about.abc.net.au/press-releases/shortwave-radio/ >. There are many other sites, which express their disappointment and dismay at this decision – look at them too. You can do your bit by contacting various members of parliament and the ABC direct to endeavour to having this decision reversed. The ABC seem to believe that short wave broadcasting is obsolete but it would seem ironic that the Chinese are expanding their short wave broadcasting.

Yours sincerely,
Rodney Champness