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23 September 2017

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Will, are you the Will Self born 26 September 1961 in London?

Sadly, the main Radio Australia shortwave transmission site at Shepparton, Victoria, has already closed.

The aerial towers have been demolished, the transmitters are gone and the area has been sold to be developed as a housing estate.

Radio Australia's other transmission station, Cox Peninsula near Darwin, was sold years ago.

Re-starting large-scale shortwave transmissions will cost millions and the ABC has no interest in the genre.

Why does the Australian government not simply give the contract to SBS instead? They can contract Broadcast Australia (an engineering entity) to build a new, modern shortwave system. And, unlike ABC bosses, SBS actually has an interest in the Asia-Pacific region.

Well, if Radio Australia is any guide, we are not missing anything.

In the last 18 months at mid-morning peak listener time, we have been treated to:

1. A "lifestyle" program interview with a chef who wants to eat human flesh but had to settle for his wife's placenta after she gave birth,

2. Another "lifestyle" interview with a disabled gay man describing in nauseating detail how his life was changed after he was sodomised by a rent boy, and

3. An interview with a woman whose enlarged labial lips and consequent urinary problems ruined her life - complete with descriptions of her underwear

4. A religious program presentation of witchcraft as a religious alternative for young people - =this into a region plagued with sorcery killings

All this around 10-11 am, just before lunch.

I am not making this up. This filth might pass for intellectual discourse in Australia, but not to the hundreds of millions in conservative societies in Asia and the Pacific. It does Australia no favours at all.

The ABC has a proud history in PNG. It was the prime and trusted source of news and a window on the world. Not any more.

My father in law is typical. He listens to his radio every day to hear the news and analysis. But to the BBC. He has told me that he cannot listen to the ABC any more because he does not know what his bubus or his wife might hear.

And I agree with him.

So until you improve the content, switch it off.

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