Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern Minister John Bowler has expressed his disappointment at the continued underfunding of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation by the Federal Government.
“I am disappointed at the Federal Government’s lack of funding which precludes the ABC from broadcasting a full range of services to locations such as Kalgoorlie, Esperance and Albany,” Mr Bowler said.
“The exclusion of some transmission in regional areas treats people like us as second-class citizens.”
The Minister highlighted his concern that regional Western Australians did not receive NewsRadio, a service which had been available in the metropolitan area for 12 years.
”The ABC does a good job with limited resources but the continual underfunding by the Howard Government of the national broadcaster not only affects television services but the roll-out of the services that capital cities take for granted,” he said.
“All Australians pay taxes and see the ABC as their service but it seems there are two classes of citizens in John Howard’s Australia.
“NewsRadio is an important and popular service in the metropolitan area and some parts of the South-West but the vast bulk of WA does not receive this service.”
When Mr Bowler contacted the ABC to find out why NewsRadio was not broadcast in the Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern regions, he was told Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Albany, Denmark and Tenterden were earmarked for transmission towers but it would take another two to three years to establish the service.
“Regional Western Australians deserve better and the Howard Government must ensure it provides the funds to ensure equality to all areas of the nation - regional or not,” he said.
Minister's office: 9222 9699