Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

IN Jan­uary 2017 the ABC was forced to cut their short-wave ra­dio trans­mis­sions due to the Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Bud­get Cuts.

At the time Bill Shorten wrote to Mal­colm Turn­bull ask­ing him to work with the ABC to re­store the short-wave, but his re­quest fell on deaf ears.

Even the Coali­tion’s Min­is­ter for in­dige­nous Af­fairs Sen­a­tor Nigel Scul­lion crit­i­cised the de­ci­sion but was un­able to con­vince his gov­ern­ment to re­verse it.

Aus­tralians liv­ing in re­mote ar­eas al­ready face sig­nif­i­cant com­mu­ni­ca­tions chal­lenges, and the loss of ac­cess to ABC ser­vices from short-wave ra­dio cuts peo­ple off from emer­gency broad­casts as well as be­ing an im­por­tant con­nec­tion to the rest of Aus­tralia.

It is im­per­a­tive that Aus­tralians liv­ing in re­mote ar­eas have ac­cess to com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices such as Short­wave ra­dio.

That’s why ear­lier this week it was an­nounced that a Shorten La­bor Gov­ern­ment will pro­vide the ABC with $2 Mil­lion in fund­ing to help re-es­tab­lish short-wave ra­dio ser­vices across the North­ern Ter­ri­tory, Queens­land and Western Aus­tralia.

Or­gan­i­sa­tions like the Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion, Seafood Coun­cil and Grey No­mads have raised con­cerns about the loss of these ser­vices.

How­ever this Gov­ern­ment has failed to recog­nise these con­cerns, and has shown that when it comes to Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Ser­vices in re­mote parts of Aus­tralia, the Coali­tion does not have the best in­ter­ests of Re­gional Aus­tralians at heart. Un­der the Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment they are voice­less.

Un­like the Coali­tion, La­bor un­der­stand the im­por­tance of short­wave, and that’s why we are switch­ing it back on.

A Shorten La­bor Gov­ern­ment will en­sure that those liv­ing in re­mote and re­gional ar­eas are con­nected to the rest of the na­tion.

STEPHEN JONES, Op­po­si­tion spokesman r for re­gional com­mu­ni­ca­tions

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