Emergency Radio Broadcasting in Australia

ABC Radio Queensland is split into different programming sections across this weekend.

ABC Far North, ABC North West and ABC North Queensland sharing extended flood related programming and updates across the weekend with updates and news. They are currently airing the Emergency Management press conference live.

Adam Stephen from Cairns will be doing special weekend Northern Drive program for rolling coverage between 3pm and 6.30pm. Richard Dinnen taking over for the evening updates.

This has been evident today with the presenters being utilised. Julie Clift from the Gold Coast presented updates this morning. And after 12pm it’s now gone to Belinda Sanders in Toowoomba.

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A total fire ban day in Victoria means we’re in bushfire mode. There is currently an emergency warning issued for Hepburn and Hepburn Springs, and a Watch & Act for the surrounding Daylesford area - details here.

ABC Radio Melbourne, ABC Ballarat and ABC Central Victoria have dumped the cricket and are running live programming out of Melbourne with Libbi Gorr.

3BA & Power FM Ballarat and Gold 1071 Maryborough/Bendigo are also airing emergency warnings this morning. Doesn’t appear to be any mention on Radio KLFM as yet, which is poor considering the station is listed as a designated emergency broadcaster for the Daylesford region.

In Queensland, ABC North Queensland, ABC Far North and ABC North West have gone back into rolling coverage mode this morning of the flood/weather event. And will likely continue throughout the day. This is replacing both the cricket and the statewide Sunday Mornings program from Brisbane.

At 10am - presenter David Illife from Toowoomba just handed over to Meech Phillpott in Mackay to continue the coverage.

gold 1071 isnt based in maryborough

its licence is


At risk of taking this thread off topic:

Gold broadcasts from studios in Bendigo - as @TelevisionAU points out, it is licensed in the Maryborough RA1 licence area where it is heard on 1071AM.

98.3 gives FM coverage to the Bendigo city area, although with a much lower range than hit91.9 and Triple M which are licensed to cover the Bendigo area proper

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i used to live in maryborough and i can tell you thats wrong yes its licence in name only but no stuido in marybourgh it self the only local radio station is goldfields fm which i used to work for

ABC Radio Melbourne and Victoria returned to the cricket on analogue radio, and regular programming on ABC Listen and digital radio at 1pm. They will continue providing updates throughout the day and will return to rolling coverage if needed.

Noticed that Triple M and Hit Townsville are using SEWS on their broadcast yet the ABC isn’t. Now as I’m listening online, the ABC “May” be broadcasting SEWS on the analog signal only. Can anyone confirm? Seems odd that some would be using it while others don’t.

Triple M/Hit have their own “if it’s flooded, forget it” CSA they are broadcasting periodically (similar to the ABC’s message)

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PS Cathy Dinn is on the air for the ABC at the moment. She’s giving away the Cairns studios number so assuming she is broadcasting from there.

I think you mean Cathy Border - she would actually likely be on the Gold Coast. They have the ability to re-divert the various talk-back numbers to other places if needed.

They also are likely not airing the SEWS because the particular warning is only for a small area of where the broadcast is going to. If the ABC is joint broadcasting into areas such as Cairns and Mt Isa as well where the warning isn’t relevant - it might be not be appropriate for them to do that.


My mistake - yes you are correct :wink: Interesting re phone numbers. Thank you

Leon Compton jumped back in the chair for ABC Tasmania this afternoon after 3 fires have been upgraded the emergency warning.
This afternoon’s updates were coming from interstate but are now coming from Hobart.

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I do like the ads ABC Radio North Queensland are running taking a swipe at utilising Smart Speakers for emergency information.

Overall they have been doing a great job with the emergency coverage.

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How was emergency broadcasting changed in the last few years? I remember back in the 90’s growing up here in Brisbane that we never had the current level of rolling coverage and multiple warnings. Even during the Supercell storms of 2008.

Certainly only ever heard the SEWS since the 2011 floods. What was cyclone coverage like in the tropics in the 80’s?

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I don’t know about the 80s but they certainly existed in the 1970s – though probably not to the extent that they are now. There were emergency warnings broadcast before Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin in 1974.

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Triple M Townsville has now returned to the national feed with Pricey returning at 5am unless something happens overnight.

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Have been listening to Triple M here in Townsville tonight as this emergency is getting very serious here tonight.

The SEWS is being used before every local news update and even before live interviews with the Local Disaster Management Group.

Excellent broadcasters.

Another great broadcaster contributing to the flood coverage. Sounds a lot better than the obscure choices for the Tas disaster.

So the local radio TX out but the RN at the same site still running?

Great question. Love to read more thoughts on this.

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