Emergency Broadcasting in Australia

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?

The noodle updates already reach current content requirements. My point was, why produce anything live and breaking for the Nine Tasmania JV when they can A) Rely on their current system to fulful content requirements, B) Leave their premium news content on 7 Tasmania where they would want the views, C) Simply use a simple news ticker to provide the necessary information.

Only days after we were talking about it.
Absolutely insane rainfall and flash flooding in parts of Townsville today, the BOM have just put this out.

Seeing the situation and videos coming through, absolutely warranted.

Transmitters serving the area Toolakea, Bluewater and Upper Black River are REQUESTED TO USE THE STANDARD EMERGENCY WARNING SIGNAL BEFORE BROADCASTING THIS MESSAGE.


Severe Thunderstorm Warning


For people in parts of Herbert and Lower Burdekin Forecast District.

Issued at 1:08 pm Wednesday, 30 January 2019.

Very Intense thunderstorms occurring from Toolakea to Upper Black River, flash flooding likely.

SEWS has been activated in Townsville as the river flooding in the city is likely to inundate multiple suburbs.

Found this on Facebook from the Sunshine Coast area tonight.
Based on the graphics, I’m assuming it’s probably from SCA.

Does anyone have an videos of these warnings airing? @TV.Cynic ?

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The spelling certainly looks like SCA.

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Correcting Stephen Brook in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald

Stephen Brook’s report in the CBD gossip column (“Aunty’s Fact Finding”) misrepresents important research undertaken by the ABC to improve its emergency broadcasting capabilities following last summer’s devasting bushfires.

The research, described by Brook as an “expensive press release”, was seen as significant enough to be requested by the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

Emergency Broadcasting is a responsibility the ABC is deeply committed to. Australians expect the highest levels of broadcast and digital service and the information we provide during times of crisis can have a critical and immediate impact on people whose lives and property are at risk.

As the Government has acknowledged, the ABC’s actions during the bushfires last summer saved lives.

The number of emergency events covered by the ABC has almost tripled in the past two years.

The ABC undertook research into our 2019-20 bushfire coverage to give us critical information and insights on how communities sourced emergency information and how we could improve our emergency broadcasting coverage. The research by Ruby Cha Cha on behalf of the ABC was a large project done on a relatively small budget. The ABC used internal resources where possible to keep costs to a minimum.

Around 1600 people took part in the research, which included 373 from bushfire affected communities.

The research showed the ABC was the primary source of emergency information for a majority of Australians. It also found the ABC needed to continue to highlight the importance of its local radio service in emergency events, which for many was the only source of information when digital platforms had failed. Communities believed the ABC had an important role in showing the recovery efforts following such events.

On request, the ABC has supplied the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements with a copy of its Bushfire Impact Research.

As we head into the 2020-21 fire season, the ABC is making a number of improvements to its emergency broadcasting service, including an updated website that features aggregated and more localised emergency information. There are also improvements being made to the ABC News app to allow users to opt in to receive localised warnings and alerts.

The upgraded website and app will launch in coming months.

As in previous fire seasons, the ABC will be taking a national approach to our emergency broadcasting with a focus on the delivery of localised information. Our national Emergency Broadcasting team will once again work closely with all 56 capital city stations and regional bureaux to ensure every community affected by an emergency event receives the information it needs, at the time it is needed.

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