Emergency Broadcasting in Australia

I heard the ABC use it a month or so ago here for the storms, they seem quite happy to use it.

I’m honestly surprised that a Pay TV service that’s not widely available like Sky News can be classed as an official emergency broadcaster.


Probably a remnant from before ABC News 24 existed.

Here are some examples from NBN during the storms in April 2015.


Plenty of Bushfire warnings in QLD tonight with this notice attached:

Family in the affected area have told me that they’re hearing the SEWS frequently on radio.


On the radio front, rolling coverage continues on ABC Capricornia, ABC Wide Bay and ABC Tropical North - currently produced out of 90.3 ABC Sunshine Coast.

Local shifts are also being presented on 4CC 1548/927, hit 107.9/93.5 and Triple M 101.5/95.1. 4RO is airing updates every 30 minutes.

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They are alternating what studios they are coming from. Bundaberg was doing drive this afternoon and as per last night, Rob from Maroochydore is on from 6-10 and I assume Mackay will take over from 10 (as per last night).

The giveaway is the phone numbers :slight_smile:

Edit: yes Tegan in Mackay will take over from 10pm.


Bushfire Emergency Warning for Eungella (West of Mackay) from yesterday, recorded from ABC Tropical North.

Quite a scary and ominous warning for those in the area, well worth a listen


Just curious, does anyone know if Australia has a nuclear attack warning siren in the very unlikely event of a nuclear strike?

When the SEWS only plays for 2.5 seconds I would hardly call it effective…

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Fully agree!

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I listed to ABC Wide Bay a couple of nights ago and the warning became a bit over-used. The news would play on the hour then would follow the emergency warning with a bush fire update. It was inconsistent whether the info was urgent or not and since it was played at the time over Mackay, Rockhampton and Wide Bay transmitters it wasn’t obvious whether it was something to take notice of.


There is a leave immediately warning for Lowmead tonight. No SEWS on the Capricornia or Wide Bay online streams. Agreed with @TV.Cynic bit over used this week. And inconsistent.

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I guess there is a possibility that someone is hearing it for the first time whilst you’re hearing for the sixteenth. The broadcasters would just be following guidlines.

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Absolutely and more than aware of that. But the use of the SEWS warning is inconsistent. I’ve heard it for some “watch and act” announcements but not on “act now” warnings. I know it’s requested by certain authorities and departments.

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The use may be inconsistent, and/or over saturated, but that’s not really the ABC’s fault. The QFES issuing the warnings specify if the SEWS is to be used or not

With fire warnings in Tasmania having reached emergency warning levels regularly and for a large number of locations it’s been interesting to see the different stations and how they’ve handled it.

Southern Cross… sorry, 7 Tasmania
Have had probably the best news coverage daily and regularly sharing everything to their social media pages. They have also had the ticker scrolling across programming regularly, tonight it’s been about every 45 minutes and it is being updated frequently with the locations.

No local coverage as the news hasn’t begun for the year yet that I’ve seen (it may have started this week but I haven’t seen any) but as they’re noodle updates I’m not expecting much. They have had the same ticker as 7Tas though scrolling across the programming.

Surprisingly not much coverage. They have had the news coverage but outside of that there’s only the regularly timed news updates and they don’t seem to have any sense of urgency or that anything is out of the ordinary. It’s really showing the disconnect by not being local to the state. Haven’t seen anything outside of what is scheduled.

I’ve written about their radio coverage in the Local Radio thread but they have been doing extra local coverage regularly ranging from half hourly updates (at least 5 minutes usually) to 15 minute updates to full time local coverage usually involving a few presenters, eg. one presenter to anchor the coverage - call for information on the ground, do the interviews with the BoM or TFS etc… and then another person often from the newsroom to read the bulletins with their emergency voices (slow, direct, emphasised reading similar to when reading weather forecasts and warnings)
ABC News 24 seems to have regular coverage too, I noticed tonight that they had a cross to Alison Costelloe (former WIN News weekend newsreader) and their ticker has been mostly yellow for the last couple of weeks with all the information.

Haven’t watched SBS but I’m not expecting they’ve done anything. I’m surprised WIN hasn’t done anything as simple as a ticker with the other two stations having done so.


Why would SCA spend time and money to produce breaking news updates for a channel that is not their primary one, and where they have to share profits with WIN?

Luckily they seem to have invested their time well on 7 Tasmania.

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Yes, I wasn’t expecting anything on there so was surprised to see the ticker but I guess it’s fairly easy to just flick the same ticker from 7 across on there.

Not sure when the noodle updates start again if they haven’t already (will have to go through my recordings).

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maybe it’s a licence obligation?

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