ABC Local Radio

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Really? I didn’t know that. I wonder why they do that.


Because the ABC is not legally required to put parliament on digital radio, only on AM in the six state capitals and Newcastle.

Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act 1946:


Interesting thanks. At the time (1946) of course Newcastle would have been the only non-capital of any size and the Gold Coast was just a pub and some beach shacks, literally. Fast forward to now and the Gold Coast is bigger than Newcastle.


A day of sundaes to save our strawberries

After a series of strawberry scares, ABC Radio Brisbane and The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation (TPCHF) will join forces to support strawberry farmers the sweetest way they know how - with an Ekka strawberry sundae drive in the heart of the city on Wednesday 26 September.

Launching from King George Square at 6:15am, the Breakfast program with Craig Zonca and Loretta Ryan will broadcast live till 10am, while TPCHF ‘scooper hero’ volunteers and some special guests, dish out the delectable desserts made famous at the Royal Exhibition.

The sundaes made with strawberries from Queensland farmers will be for sale throughout the day till 6:30pm, so if you didn’t get your fix at the Ekka in August, you’ll get another bite at the berry!

Emma Griffiths, Kat Feeney and Steve Austin, will also broadcast live from the Square to bring Brisbane updates on the funds raised for our farmers. All profits from the day will go to the Strawberry Growers Association to distribute where needed most.

Be listening from 6:15am – 6:30pm Wednesday 26 September on 612AM, online or via the free ABC listen app and follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

For more information see


Save our Strawberries schedule - Wednesday 26 September
6:15am - 10:00am
Breakfast with Craig Zonca and Loretta Ryan live from King George Square
10:00am - 11:00am Focus with Emma Griffiths live from King George Square
2:00pm – 4:00pm Afternoons with Kat Feeney live from King George Square
4:00pm - 6:30pm Drive with Steve Austin live from King George Square


Another thing I think the ABC should consider is switching Local Radio and Radio National in areas where Local is on AM and National is FM.

Areas like Tamworth, Orange, Broken Hill, Kalgoorlie.

The reason being that Local Radio is the most popular of their stations and deserves to be heard in better quality and could make better use of FM stereo with its music in some shifts.

Most of their FMs in these are high powered enough that fringe coverage shouldn’t be an issue.


Very good idea particularly now RN has dropped most music. I didn’t realise there were that many markets where Local was on AM and RN on FM.


Darling Downs is another area where RN is on FM but local radio is stuck on AM.


There’s also Bega & Cooma, where Local is on AM, whilst RN is on FM. Although the Cooma side is a bit complicated, as ABC Local Radio’s AM service is only a 400-watt powered service compared to Bega’s 10kW service.

Other regions where ABC Local is on AM, whilst RN is on FM include:

  • Albany/Southern Agricultural, WA
  • Port Pirie/Port Augusta/Whyalla, SA
  • Mt Gambier/South East, SA
  • Geraldton, WA
  • Townsville, QLD
  • Rockhampton, QLD


Horsham and Nhill have RN on FM while ABC Western Victoria is on AM


Wow there are so many more than I thought!

Probably makes it even more attractive to them to shut down Classic FM and switch Local to FM, then just turn off the AM in those markets.


Good idea, though there are still some areas with Local on AM, National on FM, but no Classic FM.

One example is Horsham, but their RN service on 99.7 at only 200 watts needs a massive upgrade to even get within cooee of matching 594 at its 50,000 watts. Though I believe there is provision in the LAP for that to move to Mt Arapiles and operate at 80,000 watts.


One major problem though is that AM transmissions often cover larger areas than FM, which is an important factor when providing adequate coverage for many regional/rural markets.

Still, if the proposal goes ahead I wouldn’t be overly surprised if the ABC were to make the decision to axe AM transmissions of Local Radio in regions where it would replace Classic FM. No idea what would happen in regions where both Classic FM and Local Radio are already available on FM though.


Sounds logical from a fidelity perspective.
But ABC Local Radio is the Emergency Services Network & MW in some situations might be better than FM(VHF) from both a coverage/propagation & protecting transmission equipment scenario - eg during bushfires etc.


The theory that the dropoff in ABC Local ratings is being caused by them not pushing DAB among the young’uns is just a load of crap.

Older people will be the most likely to buy new cars that have DAB radios in their head units and dedicated portable or mantle radios. No one my age that I know, other than me, owns a dedicated portable radio. Oldies are typically the ones who will buy them.

I believe most of these ratings in the morning are driven by people listening to the stations in the car, or perhaps running or while on the train or bus (though I think this is a much lower proportion of the audience).

Younger people are the ones who get shit heap cars with nothing but a cassette deck and AM/FM tuner in them, and if they want to upgrade their radio they will not buy a considerably more expensive DAB head unit.

Many mobile phones include FM tuners, but not AM tuners. AM sounds like absolute balls in terms of quality and I wouldn’t switch bands just for local radio or talkback.


Herald Sun reports tonight that ABC Melbourne mornings host Jon Faine is retiring after 30 years.


Is that the joke he made made on air the other day?


Jacinta Parsons will present breakfast solo on ABC Melbourne all this week.


A preview of what is to come


Or perhaps it saves on paying a fill in presenter. Wouldn’t surprise me if Sami hosts solo later in the year.


The whole network does as the music directors were made redundant and one log is sent all as of a few years ago (whenever Bill Riner retired/redundant?) when the ABC stopped caring.

The AM signal from Dalby is of a useable standard should 612 be off air for an extended period of time and broadcasts, usually emergency are needed.

It’s not as good a backup as AM 594 for 774 but is essential.

The programming could be switched in an emergency to remove this concern.

Correct, it’s in the explanatory paper for that market.

Correct, it replicates the circumstances that saw 2BH quite rightly refuse FM conversion.

AM is useable at far lower signal strengths than FM.