RADIO AUSTRALIA: TRANSMISSION, FUNDING AND COST-EFFECTIVENESS
6.1 Without an effective means of transmission no broadcaster, international
or domestic, can do its job properly. Radio Australia has faced transmission
difficulties throughout its history, it main obstacle being lack of control
of its transmission budget, which has been in the hands of National Transmission
Agency, or its predecessors, for over 50 years. 
It is thus an anomaly amongst its international broadcasting competitors
who all have control of their transmission budgets. 
6.2 Without control of its budget, Radio Australia cannot elect to upgrade
transmission facilities or direct funding to other technologies from short-wave.
Nor can it lease or exchange time on off-shore transmitters in Asia, a
practice carried out by its competitors to facilitate provision of stronger
signals to target audiences.  Further,
National Transmission Agency directives prescribe that the Agency's activities
are restricted to operating short-wave transmitters based in Australia,
again this in contrast to its competitors who have invested heavily in
short wave and, less markedly, in medium wave transmitters through out
the world. 
6.3 Former Director of Radio Australia Mr Peter Barnett explained some
of the difficulties he experienced in his dealings with the NTA. In
Mr Barnett's view, problems with the NTA have been exacerbated by the
different service orientations the two organisations have. NTA, Mr Barnett
observed, understands international broadcasting only in terms of technology.
Without an appreciation of Radio Australia's programming objectives
it has therefore resisted Radio Australia's urgings to enhance the effectiveness
of its transmission into Asia:
The problem with Radio Australia, I used to say, was that we
whisper to the world because we just have not had the transmitters that
were effective. In my day, we tried very hard, as I mentioned, to have
the current system extended into Asia. If we had had transmitters in
Thailand, we could have easily reached right into the heart of Beijing,
which is a difficult area to reach. But we never got sufficient support
for that. They have closed down Carnarvon since I left and that was,
again, a great input into the area. It was very frustrating being at
RA and feeling that you were not getting the support that you deserved.
I suppose every department head may feel that but we did feel that when
we made proposals to upgrade the power of the transmitters, we never
really were able to go ahead to the degree that we would like. 
6.4 Mr Derek White, present General Manager of Radio Australia, told
the Committee that he too had had difficulty encouraging the NTA to consider
the leasing or of exchanging of time on Radio Australia's short-wave transmitters
with overseas broadcasters. At least ten broadcasters, he reported, had
approached Radio Australia in the last few years, but neither the 'department
nor the NTA' showed any interest in the commercial possibilities. 
6.5 That Radio Australia's transmission budget should be controlled by
the ABC is a fact long acknowledged: recommendations have been made to
this effect by virtually every inquiry and review conducted into Australia's
international broadcasting services over decades. 
The actual amount of funding necessary to provide for Radio Australia's
independence was the subject of discussion at the hearings.
6.6 In evidence to the Committee, Mr White was careful to point out that
the estimate made by Mr Mansfield in his report was substantially under
that required to maintain full services as they currently stand. Mr Mansfield
cited a figure of $7 million which, Mr White said, covered maintenance
and operations of existing transmitters in Darwin, Shepparton and Brandon
only.  The ABC annual report for 1995-96
cited a figure of $9.8 million as NTA costs for Radio Australia. 
Finally, in answer to a question on notice placed by the Committee, the
Department of Communications and the Arts nominated the figure of $11.9
million, of which $6.9 million constituted salaries and $5 million was
associated administrative costs. 
6.7 It had been assumed by many contributors to this inquiry, and by
Radio Australia itself, that the ABC would soon be allocated the necessary
funds after the sale of the NTA this year and so Radio Australia's problems,
at last, would be solved. As Mr Derek White, wrote in his personal submission
to the inquiry:
The Federal Government is planning the privatisation of Radio
Australia's transmission provider, the NTA, while funds sufficient to
purchase transmission requirements are due to be transferred to the
ABC/ RA at July 1 this year. Radio Australia looks forward to securing
the ability to use its transmission funds in the most and listener effective
way at home and abroad. 
6.8 In evidence to the inquiry, however, Mr Vic Jones, General Manager
of the NTA, rejected that any such arrangements had been made. Instead
he told the Committee:
The Office of Asset Sales is currently conducting a scoping study
to advise the government on the practicality, the advisability, of privatising
the NTA - selling the facilities. That process is only part-way through.
When it is completed, the government will no doubt consider the report
and make up its mind about what the future holds. But from my agency's
point of view, nothing is going to change in the immediate future. We
are continuing with business as usual and will do that until the government
makes a decision and requests us to do something else. 
6.9 Dr Alan Stretton, First Assistant Secretary of Film, National Broadcasting
and Intellectual Property Division, confirmed and extended Mr Jones
the government decided in last year's budget that the
Office of Asset Sales would undertake a scoping
study of the NTA
to see whether it should be sold and, if so, under what conditions.
I understand that an interim report of that will be considered in this
year's budget context. In a sense, what happens to the RA transmission
funding will be decided in that context. It is too early to say that
as of 1 July that funding for transmission facilities would be handed
over to the ABC. This is an issue before government in this budget context.
6.10 The Committee therefore received no further evidence from the
Department on this matter.
6.11 Radio Australia currently transmits from 14 short-wave transmittersthree
at Brandon, six operational at Shepparton while Darwin has five operational
transmitters with four currently being scheduled. 
Until July 1996, Radio Australia also operated from its station at Carnarvon
which has since been dismantled, its transmitters recycled or and sold.
To transfer its eight languages from the studio to its short-wave and
satellite (see below) transmission points, it employs a combination of
the ABC's Internal Delta satellite system and Telstra landlines. 
6.12 Significant upgrading of Australia's short-wave transmitters amounting
to $23.2 million has taken place between 1991 and 1997.
6.13 The Darwin (Cox Peninsula) station is the largest broadcasting station
in Australia, radio or television. It was originally built to serve South
East Asia following Sukarno's Confrontation campaign, was damaged by Cyclone
Tracy in 1974 and rebuilt in 1981-82 at a cost of $12 million. 
6.14 As part of an extensive upgrade in 1994-95, two new state-of-the-art
transmitters manufactured by the French company Thomcast were installed
following the Tiananmen Square incident. These transmitters are extremely
power efficient, can be modified for digital operation and are capable
of broadcasting in a single band mode which may be required for international
broadcasts after 2007. Upgrading of the transmitters computer systems
also took place at a cost of $12 million. Antenna systems had major
maintenance in 1995 at a cost, understood by Radio Australia, to be
$0.3 million, with a further $1.5 million for relocation of the 300kW
transmitter from Carnarvon.
6.15 The Cox Peninsula station is the most sophisticated of Radio Australia's
short-wave transmission facilities and has a power output which is only
exceeded by the low frequency H.E. Holt North West Cape naval communications
station.  It has seven multiband,
slewable, curtain antenna arranged to deliver signals from Central Indonesia
too India in one arc and north to Asia in another. Each antenna can operate
on a variety of frequencies and the signal beams can be steered to better
focus coverage. The station is operated by 14 highly skilled technical
6.16 The Shepparton Station is the original Radio Australia station
and was established in 1943. Its 100kW transmitters were installed in
the 1970s , with one additional standby unit being recycled from Carnarvon.
The four newest were commissioned in 1983-84. The original antennas
are being replaced with modern designs similar to those at Darwin and
placed at optimum positions to serve the Pacific and PNG. They are also
ideal for serving Eastern Indonesia and Timor following the closure
of Carnarvon. Radio Australia estimates the total capital expenditure
spent on the station between 1991 and 1996 at $9.6 million. Some 10
specialist staff operate and maintain the transmitters.
6.17 Brandon station is situated near Ayr in Queensland. It is low
power(10kW) and is unstaffed. It has limited range and uses equipment
recycled from the old Lyndhurst site (ceased operation in 1987) to serve
PNG and the Coral Sea.
6.18 The Carnarvon site was closed after an agreement was made between
the former government and the ABC to assist in the funding of Australian
Television. The sale of Carnarvon allowed $2 million to be transferred
to Australia Television and was constituted by the NTA at hearings as
a positive outcome; it meant that a desirable reduction in Radio's Australia's
operation costs had been achieved. 
6.19 Carnarvon had provided the most effective reach into the Asian
region, a fact recognised by other international broadcasters who, prior
to closure, had approached Radio Australia with a view to leasing broadcasting
time. Mr Nigel Holmes, transmission manager for Radio Australia recorded:
It has been Radio Australia's aim in recent years - probably
up to the closure of Carnarvon - to enter into transmitter sharing negotiations.
There are other broadcasters, for example, Radio Netherlands [who] were
very anxious to broadcast into Indonesia from the Carnarvon site, and
they were prepared to offer us access to some of their transmission
resources in exchange. 
6.20 The closure of Carnarvon in July 1996 has meant that Radio Australia
has lost a desirable asset from both an Australian and international broadcasting
point of view. Radio Australia transmission hours have been reduced overall
and, although upgrading of other facilities have allowed maintenance of
the service in target areas, the potential to reach them from two directions,
in combination with the Shepparton station signals, has been lost. 
Equally important, Australia has lost valuable infrastructure that would
cost tens of millions of dollars and several years work to replace, 
not to mention marketable assets (contractible transmission time for sale
or exchange) in an increasing lucrative and competitive short-wave broadcasting
Effectiveness of short wave
6.21 The fact that short-wave is considered a powerful and relevant broadcasting
medium is indicated by the heavy investment other international broadcasters
have made in short-wave transmission technologies in recent years. Mr
Derek White told the Committee that, following the recommendations of
the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee review, the BBC World Service
received a total figure of £152.4 million (A$316 million), a budgeted
increase of 3.1 per cent for 1997-98. 
Mr Michael Bird elaborated on international trends in transmitter installation:
The BBC and the Voice of America, VOA, are both completing
new, high powered short-wave relay facilities in Thailand to increase
their reach into China. The BBC has also announced it will replace
its old relay station in Oman with a new higher powered one to serve
the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, both on short wave and
medium wave, at a cost of $60 million. Radio Japan has recently installed
a 300 kilowatts short-wave transmitter in Sri Lanka. VOA is also expanding
its facilities in Sri Lanka with three 500-kilowatt short-wave transmitters.
Indonesia is also reported to have installed nine 250-kilowatt short-wave
The United States Information Agency, which is responsible for
VOA, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, has recently established the
Asia Pacific Network, often referred to as Radio Free Asia, to broadcast
to China and the rest of East Asia in eight languages. Currently it
uses VOA transmitter facilities in the Philippines. It will soon install
three new transmitters and aerials on the Northern Marianas Islands
for this service. To counter this, the Chinese government has announced
that it will shortly order from United States manufacturers ten 600-kilowatt
medium wave transmitters, fourteen 100-kilowatt and ten 500-kilowatt
short-wave transmitters. 
6.22 On 16 March 1996, Senator Alston told Ten Network's Meet the Press
program that 'short wave is of dramatically less significance in this
day and age'.  The evidence cited
above refutes this assertion. Expert witnesses to this inquiry variously
described the supposed decline of short wave as a 'myth', a 'red herring'
or just plain 'wrong'.  Radio Australia's
surveys and popular response to this inquiry by listeners throughout the
Asia-Pacific region all disprove the view that short-wave transmission
is no longer an effective or relevant medium for international broadcasting,
and particularly for our target audiences.
6.23 A single witness to the Committee's inquiry, a former foreign affairs
diplomat Mr Duncan Campbell, held the view that short-wave broadcasting
had passed its use by date in Asia and would soon to be replaced by television.
 This was also a view expressed
by the Department of Foreign Affairs in its submission to the Review of
the Status and Funding of the ABC's International Broadcasting Services
in 1995.  At that time, the ABC
had argued that television and radio services were complementary and that
an appropriate balance would evolve according to audience preferences.
6.24 However, at hearings to this inquiry, the ABC was much more cautious
about its commitment to Radio Australia and less supportive of its role
as an international short-wave broadcaster. Mr Brian Johns, ABC Managing
Director, told the Committee:
In past decades, Radio Australia was one of the few means of
projecting national perspectives to people overseas. Today it is one
of many. Cinema and television exports, music and the performing arts,
satellite television, Internet sites, publishing and the growth of
commercial relationships are some of the paths. New media technologies
are blurring the distinction between domestic and international services.
In future years, international audiences will have a greater potential
access to Australian media, just as local audiences will have increased
access to media around the world.
The ABC must therefore be prepared to review the way in which
it participates in international broadcasting. Of course, international
development will be uneven. Many Radio Australia listeners are in
less developed countries with limited access to media. For the foreseeable
future, many such people will continue driving along narrow roads
rather than super highways. In a general sense, however, the changes
affecting the environment of international broadcasting are the same
as those we face in Australia: new digital media forms, including
satellite, cable and on-line services; many more channels of audio
and video programming; and a developing level of foreign content.
6.25 Prompted by this scenario, Mr Johns emphasised that the ABC had
undergone major restructuring, under the 'One ABC' policy, to determine
what its service delivery might be given current funding expectations:
The challenge for the ABC is how best to use available funding
in the new media environment. Audiences value the services of Radio
Australia: witness the testimonials provided to this committee in the
Radio Australia submission. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge
the fact that the international broadcasting environment is undergoing
rapid change. 
6.26 The pace of 'rapid change' was not seen to be as overwhelming as
Mr Johns presents it by expert witnesses to this inquiry. Instead, they
confirmed that, while short wave was clearly a grandfather to the new
internet and satellite technologies, it was still extremely functional
and effective and was likely to remain so on into the 21st century. It
was emphasised that short-wave technologies would not be soon superseded
by other technologies. Just as the introduction of television had not
made domestic radio redundant, nor FM radio ended the popularity of AM
medium-wave reception, so the relevancy and facility of short-wave broadcasting
would ensure it survived to complement newer technologies. 
6.27 The features that recommended short-wave services in the past
- vast audience reach, uncensored content and economical reception -
were the same features that presently advocate substantial investment
in transmission infrastructure by other international broadcasting nations.
6.28 Again, these are the features that, evidence confirms, deliver
target audiences in the Asia Pacific region the type of services that
they need and desire. Ms Stone, of the Australian Council for Overseas
I would like to draw the committee's attention to the sense of
ownership that a lot of our partners feel in the Pacific and South-East
Asia about the service operated by Radio Australia. It actually is directed
to a region that suffers greatly from geographic isolation through a
large proportion of populations living in highland areas or in outer
islands. Populations in these areas can rely only on short-wave radio.
There is no other form of communication for them, no other option. At
the same time, many of these communities which suffer from geographic
isolation are also disadvantaged socially, economically and politically.
Radio Australia is seen as a lifeline to overcome a lot of that isolation.
6.29 A submission from a volunteer teacher provides a particularly
evocative account of villagers' reliance on Radio Australia's short-wave
news reporting in Ruteng, Eastern Indonesia. He writes:
I spent much time as I could riding my motor cycle to far-flung
mountain villages, isolated by the lack of good roads, etc, and yet
I was constantly amazed to find in these small villages people who were
very aware of what was happening in the world outside, and particularly
Australia, and who gained that knowledge through listening to Radio
Australia's broadcasts. Television sets were very expensive to buy,
and cost to run in areas without electricity, needing to run on car
batteries which had to be continually re-charged; very few people outside
of the town of Ruteng had a television set. Newspapers were unobtainable
and most of these people are illiterate anyway, and trips to the town
of Ruteng were few, but village people were able to afford a radio and
batteries and after a day's toil in the rice fields they would gather
around a neighbour's radio in their dark wooden houses to listen to
the news, and later discuss it endlessly. Radio Australia news was extremely
well regarded for giving a side of events which was not available through
the government radio station, which is a basically a propaganda vehicle.
News about the rest of the world, about Australia and particularly about
Indonesia itself were listened to avidly. 
6.30 That this reliance on Radio Australia's short-wave service is shared
by listeners at all levels of society in countries throughout the region,
whether more sophisticated channels of communication are available or
not, has been amply substantiated by evidence cited in other areas of
this report. Short-wave stands as the only broadcasting medium that can
deliver a strong, easily received signal to a mass audience at a great
distance. Further the availability of receivers, their low cost and facility
for use on the move, proven, for example, during the Gulf War, makes short-wave
a superior medium for international broadcasting. 
6.31 In the past, Radio Australia's only drawback, compared with its
international competitors, has been the problem of projecting a sufficiently
powerful signal into the region. The inability to enter lease and share
arrangements with its competitors has been a major limitation in this
respect. Radio Australia assesses it technical effectiveness by field
surveys. Currently, its services reach audiences via short wave in Papua
New Guinea, the Pacific, Indonesia, South-East Asia, and in North Asia
on an axis from Darwin to Beijing. In other areas, such as western and
northern China, Radio Australia's transmissions are less effective. 
6.32 Despite these limitations, Radio Australia has made considerable
developments in its short-wave delivery. The paper 'Technical Background
to Radio Australia's Transmissions' summarises these advances. In particular,
it reports that Australia has a history as a world centre of excellence
in ionospheric propagation knowledge. The application of research into
upper atmospheric physics by the Inonospheric Prediction Service has provided
Radio Australia with the computer programs used to determine which frequencies
are best at a given time. 
6.33 As Mr Nigel Holmes explained to the Committee, the determination
of appropriate frequency bandings at appropriate times is essential
to the delivery of an optimal signal to target areas:
Short wave does give variable performance. Looking at it statistically,
if I aim to plan a broadcast during a nominated period in the target
area - for example, look at a morning period between 0500 and 0700
local time, a reasonable time to put a morning broadcast into a particular
target area - I try to engineer the frequency and the bearing of the
transmissions to give a reliability of 90 per cent or better.
There will be times when you are listening to a broadcast and
it is excellent one day and it is poor the next. That is part and parcel
of short-wave broadcasting. The physics of short-wave broadcasting rest
entirely on the behaviour of the sun. While some aspects of solar behaviour
are well known, predictable and well understood, other aspects are less
able to be predicted, and we do have problems from time to time. But,
on the whole, we are able to put reliable broadcasts into our target
areas about 90 per cent of the time. 
6.34 The upgraded Cox Peninsula station at Darwin has a state-of-the-art
computer system which ensures optimal delivery of signal and is also fitted
with the latest in effective and flexible aerials that can steer a signal
most accurately to target audiences in Asia. 
These are just the type of facilities coveted by our competitors - the
BBC, Radio Nederlands, Deutsche Welle and the Voice of America - all of
whom are anxious to gain a piece of Radio Australia's place in the sun:
its geographical advantages; access to frequencies and hard-won, loyal
6.35 That short-wave is not an anachronism in today's broadcasting world
is also underlined by the fact that it has a growing audience in North
America, which is one of the most media developed environments in the
world. Moreover, following a number of satellite failures in the late
1970s and 1980s, short-wave technologies are the modes of delivery now
being more extensively used by US and NATO military services. 
With new digital signals, short-wave military communications enable secure
and robust communication by voice, data or fax.
6.36 In Australia, the largest government military purchase after the
Collins submarine project is the Jindalee Over the Horizon Radar Network
(JORN), at a cost of $1 billion. JORN is 100 per cent reliant on the
transmission, propagation and reception of short-wave signals. The practical
success of the Jindalee system at Alice Springs is well known. The effectiveness
and relevance of short-wave technology in this context has not been
questioned. In the face of the evidence why should it be?
6.37 Mr Mansfield questioned in his report whether short-wave technology
remains the most cost-effective means of delivery. The Committee asked
the Department of Communications and the Arts whether there was any
other viable delivery option for broadcasting RA's programs and maintaining
6.38 The Department of Communications and the Arts did not fully answer
the question, even though it was taken on notice. Instead, the Department
simply said, 'In addition to short-wave Radio Australia services and
programs can be delivered in a range of ways'. This response by the
Department did not answer the key element of the Committee's question,
which was whether any of the modes, or even all modes together (without
short-wave) would guarantee maintenance of RA's current audience reach.
Given the Department's sidestepping of this question, the Committee
presumes that the answer is 'no'. The Department's four options are
Delivery Mode Audience
Satellite - re-broadcasting of all or part of a service on domestic
AM/FM bands or cable networks where governments permit & local
broadcasters choose to do so
Transmission lease/hire - broadcast of whole or part of RA services
to the audience of other short-wave broadcasters through lease/hire
of their transmission facilities
Program/sale/swap/supply - provision of RA programs to local broadcasters
in the region for re-broadcasting on domestic AM/FM stations or cable
Internet - news items currently available in text form in English,
French, Tok Pisin and Chinese could be provided via audio. 
6.39 All of these options are currently used by RA to the degree allowable
by present funding arrangements. The lack of flexibility in these arrangements
has been described. Nevertheless, evidence to the Committee has convinced
it that RA has been both innovative and strategic in its development
of alternative modes of delivery. These currently complement its short-wave
services which are, at present, its majority audience.
6.40 RA submitted that letters which were received in response to Mr
Mansfield's recommendations to close RA were used as the basis to conduct
a sample survey of the mode of delivery by which the writer had received
RA programming.  The submission
records that some 82 per cent of overseas writers identified their means
of receiving Radio Australia. Of the total, 72 per cent said they listened
to RA on short-wave. The remainder listened to re-broadcasts on local
AM/FM stations, cable/pay radio services and `real audio' on the Internet,
provided by the World Radio Network. Fewer than one per cent listened
directly from the Palapa C2 satellite. 
Description of RA's current modes of delivery, and assessment of their
further potential for the broadcaster, follow.
6.41 RA currently broadcasts via the Palapa C2 satellite which is owned
by an Indonesian Government company. 
The satellite's footprint extends to India, across South East Asia and
southern China, and across the South Pacific to the International Dateline.
RA uses two of the audio sub-carriers attached to the Australia Television
signal on the satellite. One carries RA's 24 hour English language service,
the other a mix of RA's foreign language programs and weekend sports broadcasts.
At present, RA is not charged directly for its use as the lease for the
two carriers is included in Australia Television's contract. The continuation
of this arrangement is contingent on Australia Television's future.
6.42 RA has also been negotiating with AusAID to fund installation
of downlinks by local radio stations in PNG, Tonga, Fiji and Western
Samoa so they can receive a high quality signal via the Palapa C2 satellite.
This installation of AusAID funded downlinks is currently on hold pending
the decision about Radio Australia's future.
6.43 In evidence to the Committee, Mr Derek White reported that the audience
reach of RA would be dramatically reduced if it were to rely on a satellite
delivery of its services.  He pointed
out that a number of countries in the region - including China, Malaysia,
Singapore and, recently reported, Vietnam - have banned private ownership
of satellite receivers.  Rebroadcasting
from satellite transmission by local AM/FM stations would be subject to
possible censorship by local government authorities.
6.44 Further, the cost of installing a satellite receiver is prohibitive
for most listeners of RA and many do not have available mains electricity
required to run the satellite receivers. Mr Derek White told the
The Palapa satellite goes from China, west to India, east to
Fiji and Tonga and I think it reaches Western Samoa. Very few people
would access the signal directly from the satellite for a number of
reasons. As you are aware, in a number of countries in this region
satellite dishes are banned. They do not exist. In many countries,
the cost of a satellite dish, even if it were not banned, is simply
beyond the reach of most people and that applies equally in the Pacific
as it does in most of Asia. You can contrast a satellite dish with
an almost standard available short-wave receiver at about $10 or $20.
The delivery of the signal is controlled by the gateway. For
example, taking the Palapa signal - and this applies to Australian
television in the same way - if for some reason, either a government
were upset or the system broke down or something, you have lost the
capacity to deliver the signal and you are not in control of the actual
distribution of the satellite. There is no developed system of direct
listening to a satellite radio signal through a purpose designed radio
available anywhere in the world at this stage. The only way you can
hear a signal from the satellite is through the television set.
This was actually tried quite a lot in Europe, and European broadcasters
are convinced that people just do not want to listen to a radio signal
while having their television set turned on; it just does not make sense
- or you can get an extra little black box. I cannot describe the actual
technology, but there is an extra piece of equipment you can buy and
you can split the signal off from your satellite receiver to your hi-fi
set. Again, when you consider the nature of much of the audience for
Radio Australia, as a practical alternative in this region, it is simply
not on. 
6.45 These points were all supported by various witnesses to the inquiry.
 Dr Errol Hodge pointed out that
if Radio Australia broadcast to Indonesia via satellite only, there would
be 'a great deal of self-censorship'. 
Mr Graeme Dobell stated that the developments, in terms of satellite technology,
were as much about politics as technology. 
6.46 Mr Michael Bird, having recently assisted the London-based World
Radio Network establish its Asia-Pacific satellite service, gave the
following expert opinion:
Within the Asia Pacific region, both regional and international
broadcasters are expanding their satellite services at an unprecedented
rate. PanamSat IV, AsiaSat II and Palapa C series satellites have
all recently come on stream, providing Asia with an explosion in satellite
capacity. The march of Murdoch into Asia at this stage appears to
be unstoppable with his acquisition of the Hong Kong based Star TV
using AsiaSat. However, at this stage there are many drawbacks to
the use of satellites. The Chinese response to the BBC's use of Star
TV transponders demonstrated the vulnerability of this delivery system.
At the time, it was rumoured that when Murdoch obtained his controlling
interest in Star TV, the Chinese asked for the BBC World TV Service
to be removed from AsiaSat.
RA currently uses ATV's sub-carrier to piggy-back its signal
via the Palapa C satellite. However, while this is a useful adjunct,
little or no response has been forthcoming to this service. Short wave
is still very much the primary method of delivery within the Asia Pacific
region, ensuring independence, penetration and affordable reception
6.47 Mr Nigel Holmes, Transmission Manager of Radio Australia gave
further details on the costs of satellite dish reception. Whereas an
average short-wave receiver costs $US 45:
A two-metre satellite dish, a cheap mesh dish, which might last
three to five years in the Pacific region, may cost around $US500 to
$US800. But you need a bit more than just a perforated parabolic wok.
You need a television receiver, a source of mains power, a satellite
receiver and a device called a low noise converter. If you add all that
together, you are looking at about $US1,000 to $US1,500 - presupposing,
of course, that you have ready access to mains power. It is not really
a proposition for most of our end users of Radio Australia programs;
it is something that you would expect a broadcast station in a target
area to invest in. 
6.48 Evidence conveyed to the Committee by Mr Oscar Wang, Senior Broadcaster,
Chinese Language service, emphatically confirmed that satellite was
not the people's choice or option in China. Mainland Chinese listeners,
responding to the Government view that short-wave was in decline, requested
Mr Wang to:
Send your senators and officials to China to find that out for
themselves. Do we have any satellite dishes in our villages? Do we have
other ways of communicating with your country? If not through Radio
Australia, how do we know, Mr Howard, that you are the Prime Minister
of Australia? Only through Radio Australia do we get these kinds of
6.49 For Radio Australia the main facility of satellite transmission
is for rebroadcasting. As Mr Holmes told the Committee:
At the moment, the greatest percentage to Radio Australia from
our palapa broadcasts comes from the ability to use those broadcasts
as de facto program interchanges. In other words, we see the worth
of Radio Australia's broadcasts on palapa not so much as being a means
to get the signal to the final listeners but as a means of getting
a high quality reliable signal to rebroadcasters within our target
This is happening at the moment with Radio Australia's tiny Thai
service. We carry that program on palapa. We do not expect any listeners
in Thailand to look directly at the palapa satellite and listen to the
programs for themselves - they are welcome to do so, if they have the
wherewithal. But the Thai programs are taken off the satellite by rebroadcasters
- by university stations
They are carried up and down the country
on AM and FM stations. 
6.50 Such rebroadcasting arrangements have already been effectively
pursued by Radio Australia where:
- it has been ascertained that short-wave services are in decline
(as in the case of Thailand) or;
- where countries have been desirous of receiving downlinks on programming
as a means of strengthening signal reception or expanding programming
content of local stations.
6.51 The RA submitted that in the Asian region, few countries permit
rebroadcasting of unedited foreign news or other sensitive material.
In China, for example, RA's music programs, English language lessons
and special programs about Australian life are increasingly accepted.
Not so, however, is Radio Australia's news in Cantonese and Mandarin,
which is heard only through short wave. The same restrictions on satellite
reception therefore apply for rebroadcasting: the material must be acceptable
to the government and to the local AM or FM broadcaster before it is
delivered to its audiences.
6.52 In the Pacific, by contrast, RA extensively rebroadcasts material.
Most Pacific nations readily rebroadcast news and other information programs
offered by the major international broadcasters in the region, RA, BBC,
Radio New Zealand and the Voice of America. In an underdeveloped information
environment, Pacific radio and television operators readily accept material
from external sources. This has encouraged a degree of domination by foreign
information which some commentators see as culturally invasive. 
Mr Derek White alluded to this at the hearings in relation to the potential
for Australia to establish 24 hour satellite transmission to the Pacific
funded by AusAID. 
6.53 Because of this factor, rebroadcasting of programs is rather precariously
balanced between falling short of the information needs of the region
and overstepping that need when programs rebroadcast are not sensitively
or perceptively produced nor judiciously chosen for audiences in the
6.54 At the same time, the rebroadcasting environment is highly competitive,
and because of this, it is increasingly likely that countries will soon
be charging broadcasters who want to relay programs through local broadcasting
services, rather than the other way round. The measure of acceptance of
material is dependent on how positively it is perceived by the receiving
countries. The emphasis on 'cultural appropriateness' thus becomes increasingly
6.55 Evidence to the Committee suggests, that RA's short-wave services
to date have been welcomed precisely because they provide audiences
with an alternative to local and other international programming in
a format which is both 'culturally appropriate' and meets the needs
of its audiences.
6.56 To achieve this, RA selects and adapts domestic programming for
short-wave broadcast through its foreign language service division. 
The programs are re-worked for specific audiences throughout the region.
While some sports and media programs are distributed without adaptation
for rebroadcasting, these are mainly for expatriate audiences. No other
domestic programming is provided direct for rebroadcasting to target audiences.
Mr Peter Barnett, former director of RA, thus rejects the option
of RA continuing as a rebroadcast service only:
It would be a pretty down-market compromise, and I will tell
you why. As I say, I have not been there for a long time but I still
take pride when I hear RA news because I do believe that RA news is
the most thoughtful news anywhere - certainly for this region. For example,
within Australia we talk about the ALP and ACTU, and they would not
mean anything, so we have to spell out what they are, which Radio Australia
does very, very well. It is a whole different mind set when you are
writing for fellow Aussies compared with when you are writing for someone
who has English as their second or third language or maybe in their
own indigenous language. It still has to be explained and pointed out.
You cannot give the same accurate picture of Australia and the world
to Australians as you would to people overseas. I think it would be
very difficult. By the way, some programs could do that quite well.
I am sure for some of the science programs and some of the current affairs
programs there would be no problem, but you would have to be selective.
You could not do it as an overall general rule. 
Audio transcription and the Internet
6.57 The ABC submission records that Radio Australia currently sends
audio transcription tapes of information and music programs to a number
of stations around the Asia Pacific region for rebroadcast. 
The English service sends five tapes each week to 17 stations in the Pacific
and three to All India Radio. The North Asia (Chinese Service) each week
sends information and music programs to 18 stations in China. The Thai
service provides 20 tapes to Thai stations each month. The duration of
information on the tapes ranges from 15 to 90 minutes.
6.58 In May 1996, RA began placing program schedules and background
information on the ABC's Internet site. In August, Internet news in
English was launched, closely followed by French, Tok Pisin and, most
recently, Chinese. Plans are in place to start Internet news services
in Indonesian, Vietnamese, Khmer and Thai.
6.59 The new audiences established though Radio Australia's Internet
services, with 'hits' totalling 160,000 in January 1997, are complementary
to Radio Australia's estimated 20 million audience for short-wave transmission.
Internet services could not at all be perceived as an alternative to
serve Radio Australia's current mass audience, but they do demonstrate
the organisation's capacity and desire to investigate and develop new
modes of delivery, and to do so in a focussed and economical manner.
6.60 As Radio Australia's submission explains, its Internet service
is an example of value adding from existing services. The Internet news
is produced by Radio Australia's editorial staff who can move stories
directly from the NewsCaf computer system to the net with a minimum
of processing. RA thus provides an edge to the ABC's Internet system
and innovates in the international scene: the Internet English news
also doubles as the ABC's international news service while Radio Australia's
Chinese language Internet news is one of the first of its type in the
Digital short-wave potential
6.61 Radio Australia, as a short-wave service, is aware of the potential
of digital short-wave to enhance its signal. Mr Derek White reports:
There is a development going on at the moment which offers great
prospects, that is, digital short wave. The existing transmitters, in
most cases, can be converted. Digital broadcasting is likely to take
over within the next decade or two and that will deliver a short wave
signal with the same advantages but with other gains as well. It will
have a clearer, more reliable signal without the variations that are
a problem with short wave. It will reduce the channel space so there
will be less crowding of the spectrum and you will get a clearer signal.
There will be a great number of advantages to come. 
6.62 Many witnesses to this inquiry recognised that digital short-wave
is the way forward for the medium. In his submission to the Mansfield
review in September 1996, Mr Michael Bird wrote that the 'European Broadcasting
Union is now testing two types of digital encoded short wave' and that
the expected outcome was that short-wave would experience a 'rebirth within
five to seven years'.  At hearings
in April, he confirmed this time frame but also reported a development
in that the Germans and the French had just agreed to combine their systems
and that extensive testing would now take place. 
6.63 In a supplementary paper to the Committee, Mr Bird outlined the
advances in digital AM, with three systems currently under development
by Thomcast (France), Voice of America/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (USA)
and Deutsche Telekom (Germany). These firms are working on options will
facilitate the establishment of a world wide digital standard, including
possible modes which combine analogue and digital transmission, as developed
by Thomcast. If all proceeds smoothly, the standard for long-wave, medium-wave
and short-wave delivery will be established in three years, allowing application
of the technologies by international broadcasters. 
6.64 Mr Bird described the technology of digital and current potential
of Radio Australia to be converted to the system:
The technology is very simple. It is basically the same technology
that is being used in a computer modem or a fax machine. As for its
technical term, it is very close to the television encoding system called
MPEG-2 which is being used on television satellite broadcasts
Radio Australia has got two new Thomson transmitters at Darwin, which
could be used straight away. All you need is a box of tricks on the
transmitter. It turns the audio into zeros and ones. It is transmitted
through the aerial system up to the ionosphere and it is received, according
to Thomcast in France, on a portable radio as you know it. Cheap sets
will be made which will include long, medium, short analog, short digital
and FM stereo for a price a little above today's price. 
6.65 In regard to the production of economical digital receivers, Dr
Errol Hodge told the Committee that he was aware that China had indicated
its willingness to build hundreds of millions of receivers which would
receive digital short-wave.  Further,
Mr Bird confirmed that 'Sony, Panasonic, and Sangean in Taiwan, are very
keen [on digital development] because it will revitalise their markets'.
6.66 It is apparent from the evidence that RA is in a position to build
on its existing infrastructure to gain a position of real strength in
the digital short-wave environment of the future. The alternative is,
as Mr Peter Barnett suggested, a matter of 'closing the door when the
door is going to open for everybody else'. 
Satellite digital broadcasting
6.67 The Committee also received evidence from Mr Richard Butler, Chairman
of WorldSpace/AsiaSpace who reported on the future potential of satellite-aided
digital broadcasting. This mode, nevertheless, had some of the strengths
and disadvantages of other satellite broadcasting: a strong, quality
signal balanced by a potential for jamming or censorship of that signal
and, at present, the prohibitive costs of reception devices.
6.68 In a letter to the Committee following his appearance, Mr Butler
clarified some aspects of the potential to block the satellite DAB radio
signal saying that, while it was possible to jam the signal, the service
would mainly be provided through 'uplinking of the individual countries
own uses with extended regional coverages'. 
This would appear to mean that the DAB satellite signal would rely on
rebroadcasting and so would be subject to similar controls. The availability
of a direct signal would therefore be contingent on the costs reception
to independent users.
6.69 Mr Butler reported in his submission that WorldSpace was currently
funding research into this area which will allow for the production of
economical receivers, and stated to the Committee that these would be
'hand held or portable car environment'. 
Within five years he estimated the cost of these receivers would be $50,
competitive with contemporary short-wave receivers. 
Other evidence received, however, questioned these developments.
6.70 In a letter to the Committee, Radio Australia reported that no working
prototype had as yet been produced by the manufacturers commissioned by
WorldSpace. Neither had the technology been successfully demonstrated
in several field tests nor had it overcome problems such as reception
in buildings.  Other evidence suggested
that WorldSpace's projected cost of $50 for receivers to be manufactured
in future was also questionable given that this is the current wholesale
price of the components needed to manufacture satellite receivers. 
6.71 Although this satellite technology is not yet available for use
by broadcasters, it clearly has potential for broadcasting services
in the future.
6.72 The Department of Communications and the Arts had no information
to offer the Committee on the relative merits of current broadcasting
technologies as this was 'one of the issues the government was considering'.
 As this was a technical question,
the Department should have answered it. As pointed out in Chapter 1, the
fact that the Government is considering a matter is not a valid reason
for not answering questions about matters which do not impinge on policy
advice. The Department has a duty to the Parliament to provide factual
and technical information to a parliamentary committee. However, it is
clear that no other transmission mode at the moment has the capacity to
replace short-wave radio for the bulk of RA's programming.
6.73 Nevertheless, Dr Vic Jones of the NTA did offer cautionary advice
about making sudden changes in infrastructure in broadcasting environments.
Commenting on the need to run analogue and digital technologies in a
change-over period he said :
That is exactly the sort of issue that makes it so important
not to rush into a change. In broadcasting the massive investment is
by the public, not by us. Many dollars are spent by us and our budget
looks enormous, but it is tiny compared with the investment by the public.
You cannot just change the transmission system overnight because there
is no audience - and the most important thing for a broadcaster is their
audience. So when you make the change, firstly you have to get it right
because you cannot change your mind; secondly, you have to make arrangements
for that transition, and it usually does involve simulcasting of one
form or another to build up that audience of receivers. 
6.74 Building up an 'audience of receivers' is the crucial issue for
consideration of Radio Australia's future as broadcaster. Any decision
made about transmission technologies should take into account the empirical
evidence: Radio Australia's largest audience is now secured through short-wave
technology. At the same time, as Mr Michael Bird argues, Radio Australia,
positioned as it is in terms of both geography and infrastructure, has
the potential to become a regional 'one stop shop' for international communications:
making greater use of the growing number of delivery modes - not only
short-wave and satellite transmission but Internet, CD-Rom, and multi-media
6.75 In his review, Mr Mansfield suggested that Australia should withdraw
from the media marketplace in the Asia Pacific region because that market
has become increasing competitive. Mr Graeme Dobell counters eloquently
that Australia should take its place in the race:
Obviously, that market is getting richer and more crowded, and
that is one of the great benefits of this huge surge that we are seeing
in the region. However, it strikes me as surprising that because the
market is seen as getting harder and more difficult that is seen as
a reason for us to get out of it. To me, that seems to be very surprising
logic in the same way that it is harder for us to win an Olympic gold
medal than it was a couple of decades ago. That means we train harder,
and we try harder because it makes the competition, in some sense, more
useful or more valuable perhaps. To me, this idea that we get out because
it is getting harder is a strange concept. 
6.76 The Committee strongly supports Mr Dobell's views.
Cost Effectiveness of Radio Australia
Radio Australia funding
6.77 Each year, the Government notifies the ABC Board of its total
level of base funding. The Board then decides the amount to be allocated
to RA and notifies the Government accordingly. This figure then appears
as a single line appropriation for RA in the Government's Budget. In
1996-97, RA was allocated $13,494,000. This figure includes $1,002,447
for Southbank Support Services, the cost of transmitting programs to
the short-wave transmitter sites operated by the NTA and the cost of
transmission of programs other than by short-wave radio. These other
transmission costs include $190,000 per annum for delivering audio transcripts
for rebroadcast by overseas radio stations, $80,000 per annum for two
one-hour feeds per day to the World Radio Network centre in London for
satellite distribution to rebroadcasters in Europe and North America
and $78,000 per annum for Internet operations. The RA's share of the
total ABC budget has been between 2.5 and 2.7 per cent.
6.78 The cost of operating the NTA short-wave transmitters is the responsibility
of the NTA. According to the Department of Communications and the Arts,
the transmission operating costs for the HF transmission facilities used
to deliver RA services is $6,968,000 in 1996-97. 
6.79 The RA budget for 1996-97 is broken down into $9,906,587 for salaries
and $3,662,413 for expenses with additional revenue of $75,000. The
budget can be considered in another way: $2,026,760 for general management,
$2,851,291 for resources and distribution and $8,615,949 for program
departments. The average staffing level for RA in 1996-97 is 144.
6.80 RA submitted that in 1995, that:
it surveyed a range of international broadcasters as part of
its preparation of material for the Federal Government's Inter-Departmental
Review of International Broadcasting.
This study, using various criteria for comparison, was effectively
replicated by the international management consultants, KPMG, who
were commissioned last year by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
(CBC) and the Department of Canadian Heritage, to conduct an operational
review of Radio Canada International (RCI).
6.81 RCI and RA are comparable in size as shown in the following table.
Table 6.1: Comparison of RA and RCI
* Including transmission; Mansfield figure for Radio Australia.
# RCI's total language output substantially below RA.
6.82 The outcomes of the international comparison are as follows:
In summary, Radio Australia - low ranked on annual expenditure
- ranked high in efficiency as shown by cost per language service;
cost per hour of program output; hours of program output per staff
member; proportion of programs produced in house; cost of service
per citizen; and the proportion of staff allocated to programs vs
In particular, Radio Australia's success in meeting the needs
of, and appealing to, its audience in a cost effective manner was
reflected in the listener response as measured by mail. Per million
dollars of budget, Radio Australia's mail response was almost three
times that of any other broadcaster surveyed. The volume of listener
mail per program hour was also almost three times that of its nearest
competitors, including BBC - World.
Radio Australia achieved this audience response despite having
limited transmission facilities and a primary target area limited to
the Asia-Pacific, and despite being one of the very few international
broadcasters without off-shore short-wave transmission facilities. For
comparison, Voice of America has 100 short-wave transmitters off-shore;
Deutsche Welle 31; BBC World Service 30, and RCI nine. 
6.83 It is very clear from the KPMG charts comparing a number of international
broadcasters against a range of efficiency measures that RA was among
the most cost-effective across the range. The Committee believes that
RA is both efficient and cost-effective and achieves considerable benefits
for Australia for a small cost.
6.84 The Committee does not believe that the future funding of RA or,
for that matter, ATV, should be considered on the basis of domestic
versus international broadcasting. The role and functions of each are
quite different and should be treated separately by the Government.
The Government should treat RA funding as a single line appropriation
separate from the ABC's budget, irrespective of the future structure
of RA and its place within the bureaucracy. Mr Mansfield's recommendations
and the apparent preparedness of the ABC to sacrifice its international
broadcasting services should it not receive funding for them over and
above that which is required for its domestic services, makes the argument
for completely separate funding more cogent.
6.85 During the inquiry, there was considerable objection to the funding
of RA by DFAT or for the placement of RA within the foreign affairs
and trade portfolio. It was argued that such an arrangement would be
perceived within the Asia Pacific region as the Government assuming
greater editorial control over RA's services. In other words, the perceived
independence of RA, particularly in news and current affairs, would
be treated with a little more cynicism. If taken with other Government
decisions and the government's handling of issues affecting the region
- the abolition of the DIFF scheme; reduced aid budgets; closer defence
ties with the USA; the proposed cuts to RA and the proposed privatisation
of ATV; the perceived poor handling of the race debate by the Government
- it is perhaps understandable that any transfer of RA funding to DFAT
might be misconstrued within the region.
6.86 Although the Committee believes that it would be preferable for
RA funding not to be included in the DFAT budget, it would accept such
an arrangement should it mean the survival of RA. The Committee notes
that the BBC World Service is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office. However, that arrangement is one of long standing and the BBC
World Service has had time to prove that it is independent of political
interference in its editorial policies. Similarly, should RA find itself
in a similar position dependent on DFAT funding, it would eventually
demonstrate to its audience that there has been no editorial interference
by government. It should not be forgotten that all public broadcasters
are funded from the public purse and in the end the particular purse
used for funding the broadcaster does not really matter, provided that
editorial independence and program integrity are maintained.
6.87 The Committee appreciates that there are particular synergies
in the operations of RA and the ABC domestic services. They share foreign
correspondents, RA draws heavily on ABC news, information and current
affairs although there is some reciprocity, and the RA broadcasts many
programs prepared for the ABC domestic services. RA would not be nearly
as effective without access to ABC resources. For that reason, the Committee
believes that it is important for RA to remain attached to the ABC.
However, it is also apparent to the Committee that because RA is a small
and discrete unit within the broad range of services provided by the
ABC, it has not attracted the level of attention and support it needs
to fulfil its important international role. Consequently, it would benefit
from having a separate board to oversee its operations and give it direction,
particularly at a time when globalisation of broadcasting services is
evolving very quickly, with emphasis in the Asia Pacific region. Such
a board should comprise representatives of the ABC, the Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Communications and the
Arts, and a number of people with expertise in broadcasting or the region
(one of whom to be the chairman) and the General Manager of RA. Although
there would be some additional costs for a part-time board, it should
not make any significant difference to overall funding.
6.88 The Committee does not consider the transfer of RA away from the
ABC to the foreign affairs and trade portfolio as an effective or desirable
move. It would increase perceptions within the region that the Government
was becoming more involved in editorial policy although the Committee
is sure this would not happen in practice. Nevertheless, perceptions
are sometimes difficult to disperse.
6.89 If RA were in the foreign affairs and trade portfolio, it would
be more difficult for the Minister for Foreign Affairs or DFAT to repudiate
statements made in a RA news or current affairs program should another
government object to those statements. At present, the Minister and
DFAT can disassociate themselves from news broadcasts which are not
consistent with Australian foreign policy on the grounds that RA programming
is independent of Government control. Other governments, which perhaps
have more control over the media in their countries than the Australian
Government does over RA, might regard with greater scepticism any attempt
at disassociation if RA were ultimately responsible to the Minister.
6.90 Finally, DFAT's relationship with its public affairs journalists
over many years, and the abolition of the International Public Affairs
Branch in 1996, would not augur well for RA should it be transferred
to the foreign affairs and trade portfolio. The role of the Branch was
international public and media promotion of Australia, which RA does
in a different way. The Committee believes that there would be no real
commitment in DFAT to support RA within the portfolio.
6.91 The only other option canvassed seriously during the inquiry was
the establishment of a separate organisation combining RA and ATV. Although
it does have some attractions, it would inevitably require additional
funds to carry out corporate functions for which the ABC currently takes
responsibility. It would also be difficult, although not impossible,
to make arrangements with the ABC to ensure the synergies among the
three bodies, which add to the current effectiveness of the two international
broadcasting services, were not lost. The Committee therefore believes
that RA and ATV should continue to remain attached to the ABC with such
changes mentioned above and in the chapter on ATV being implemented.
However, if such arrangements are not successful, further consideration
should be given to the possibility of combining RA and ATV in a separate
organisation or for RA to be established as a separate organisation.
6.92 The Committee therefore recommends that the Government provide
sufficient funds, at least at current levels, to allow Radio Australia
to continue to provide its current range of English and foreign language
services through a variety of media, especially the medium of short-wave
6.93 The Committee recommends that Radio Australia continue to operate
international public broadcasting services to the Asia Pacific region
and that such services continue to be associated with the ABC but with
separately identified funding.
6.94 The Committee also recommends that additional funding be provided
to Radio Australia to fund a Burmese language service and to expand
the Khmer language service.
 Committee Hansard, p. 45.
 See Michael Bird, submission no. 349,
 ABC submission no. 377, Vol. 2. p. 55.
 See Michael Bird, submission no. 350,
 Committee Hansard, p. 9.
 Committee Hansard, p. 35.
 See Chapter 3.
 Committee Hansard, p. 45.
 Committee Hansard, p. 45.
 Question on notice to the Department
of Communications and the Arts, 3 April 1997, p. 1.
 Submission no. 400, p. 7.
 Committee Hansard, p. 188.
 Committee Hansard, p. 188-89.
 Committee Hansard, p. 397.
 ABC submission no. 377, p. 51.
 The information in this section is drawn
from 'Technical Background to Radio Australia's Transmissions', supplementary
information material provided by Radio Australia, pp. 4-5 and from evidence
provided by Mr Nigel Holmes, RA's transmission manager, at the hearings
on 16 April 1997, Committee Hansard, pp 381-97.
 The role of short wave in Australia's
defence system is discussed below.
 See Committee Hansard, p. 187.
 Committee Hansard, p. 385.
 ABC submission no. 377, Vol. 2. p. 52.
 For comparison, replacement investment
for Cox Peninsula would be $50 million dollars and three years with
Shepparton as $30 million and two. See 'Technical Background to Radio
Australia's Transmissions', p. 5.
 Committee Hansard, p. 106.
 Committee Hansard, p. 18.
 'Radio Australia in touch with the World',
News Release, 17 March 1997, ABC Online.
 Committee Hansard, p. 379; Submission
no. 350, p. 1.
 Committee Hansard, p. 342.
 Review, October 1995, p. iv.
 Review, October 1995, p. 17.
 Committee Hansard, pp 93-94.
 Committee Hansard, p. 379.
 Committee Hansard, p. 259.
 Submission no. 414, p. 1.
 See 'Techs, Skies and Audio tape: Is
Short wave Being Replaced?' in Passport to World Band Radio,
[p.69], where pocket-sized short-wave receivers were preferred by US
troops in the Gulf compared to issued 'man portable receivers' for reception
of satellite transmissions carrying US Armed Forces Radio. The troops
listened to 'Baghdad Betty', BBC World Services on short wave, instead.
 ABC Submission no. 377, Vol. 2, p. 53.
 'Technical Background to Radio Australia's
Transmissions', p. 3.
 Committee Hansard, p. 384.
 'Technical Background to Radio Australia's
Transmissions', p. 3.
 All of these organisations have written
to Radio Australia asking about the availability of spare short wave
capacity. See 'Radio Australia in touch with the World', News Release,
17 March 1997, ABC Online.
 These and the following details are
from 'Technical Background to Radio Australia's Transmissions', p. 3.
 Answer to question on notice taken by
the Department of Communications and the Arts, 3 April 1997, [p. 3].
 A total of 694 letters were received
within a month of the release of the Mansfield report, that is be the
end of February 1997. See ABC submission no. 377, p. 5.
 ABC submission no. 377, p. 5.
 The following information is from the
ABC submission no. 377, Vol. 2, p. 53.
 Committee Hansard, p. 115.
 Committee Hansard, p. 110.
 Committee Hansard, p. 115.
 For example, Committee Hansard,
pp 252, 386 and following citations.
 Committee Hansard, p. 212.
 Committee Hansard, p. 252.
 Committee Hansard, p. 19.
 Committee Hansard, p. 386.
 Committee Hansard, p. 390.
 Committee Hansard, p. 386.
 See Robie, David, ed. Nius Bilong
Pasifik: Mass Media in the Pacific, Port Moresby: University of
Papua New Guinea Press (in assoc. with the South Pacific Centre for
Communication and Information Development) 1994.p. 22-3.
 Committee Hansard, p. 115.
 See ABC submission no. 377, pp 70-82.
 The following details are from the ABC
submission no. 377, pp 72-3.
 Committee Hansard, p. 14.
 The information in this section is drawn
from the ABC submission no. 377, Vol. 2, p. 54.
 Committee Hansard, p. 39.
 Attachment, submission no. 349, p. 5.
 Committee Hansard, p. 20.
 Paper received 16 April 1997.
 Committee Hansard, p. 20.
 Committee Hansard, p. 223.
 Committee Hansard, p. 21.
 Committee Hansard, p. 10.
 Letter received 21 April 1997.
 Submission no. 678 and Committee
Hansard, p. 409.
 Committee Hansard, p. 410.
 Letter of 18 April 1997, p. 3.
 'Technical Background to Radio Australia's
Transmissions', p. 6.
 Committee Hansard, p. 190.
 Committee Hansard, p. 196.
 Michael Bird, Submission to the Mansfield
review, Attachment to Submission no. 349, p. 2
 Committee Hansard, p. 243.
 Department of Communications and the
Arts, letter dated 15 April 1997 to the Committee.
 ABC/RA submission, pp 52-53.