1 Feb 2017

Bill planned to get ABC shortwave reinstated

6:27 am on 1 February 2017

The Australian senator Nick Xenophon is planning to introduce a bill to parliament next week forcing the ABC to reinstate its shortwave service.

The ABC ended the service to the Pacific and remote parts of northern Australia yesterday.

It said the technology was outdated and it planned to beef up FM and online services.

Mr Xenophon said the ABC's management had completely underestimated the impact of the change which he described as incredibly stupid.

He said it would not only affect thousands of people in Australia's remote areas but perhaps hundreds of thousands of listeners throughout the region and he said Australia was shrinking away from its obligation as a good neighbour in the Pacific.

The senator said the legislation he was planning was unprecedented but it was not aimed at telling the ABC what to do editorially.

Mr Xenophon said ABC's shortwave was an essential service for the region and he hoped to get bipartisan support to reverse the decision sooner rather than later.

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Photo: Australian parliament