Today marks two years since the Liberal Government’s budget cuts to the ABC led to the shutdown of shortwave radio in the Northern Territory.
That’s two years Australians living in remote areas have been cut off from ABC emergency broadcasts and other valuable ABC content that provides an important connection to the rest of Australia.
Organisations like the NT Government, NT Cattlemen’s Association, Northern Territory Seafood Council representing commercial and tourist fishing businesses, Amateur Fisherman Association, Indigenous Rangers, long haul transport drivers and the Toyota Land Cruiser Club representing Grey Nomads have been without this vital service since January 2017.
In November last year, Labor committed $2 million in funding to the ABC to help re-establish shortwave radio services across the NT.
Since then, 73 days have passed with no word from the Liberal/National Government on the issue.
Major progress could have been made towards restoring the service in that time, if Scott Morrison and his colleagues matched Labor’s commitment.
Instead, they’ve been content to leave thousands of people who relied on this service to fend for themselves.
By switching the shortwave back on a Shorten Labor Government will ensure towns, communities and travellers are connected to the rest of the nation.
Labor’s funding commitment of $2 million to restore ABC shortwave services is in addition to Labor’s commitment to reverse the Morrison Government’s $83.7 million unfair cut to the ABC, as well as our guarantee of funding certainty over the next ABC budget cycle.