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