BRISBANE - There are villagers in remote parts of Papua New Guinea and other parts of the Pacific who rely on radio as their only source of news, information and vital breaking news on matters that directly impact their livelihood.
I am half Papua New Guinean and have witnessed firsthand how the ABC has added value to the lives of my own people who live in remote parts of PNG.
Broadcasting services into the region are a necessity. Period.
News delivered to places that are isolated and disconnected from the rest of this technology-driven world is a necessity.
Literacy is a major issue in PNG. Sadly not all villagers can read and write or they have limited literacy skills. Radio is their only source of being informed. Literacy is critical for economic development; being informed is just as powerful and important.
Taking away this medium from those that relied on it was detrimental – it cut off a lifeline.
Not being able to read does not mean one has no opinion or right to information. Being illiterate or having limited literacy skills does not mean one is lacking intelligence.
Do not underestimate the people who listened to these programs. They still want this service. They need it and they deserve it. They deserve to be informed about what is happening in Australia and the Pacific neighbourhood.
They deserve to be connected to the rest of the world.
It is a necessity.