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ABC difficulties under investigation, hotline set up for North-West listeners.

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ABC difficulties under investigation, hotline set up for North-West listeners Wednesday, 31 May 2006

The Federal Member for Braddon, Mark Baker MP, has raised the issue of ABC Local Radio reception difficulties in North-West Tasmania with the Communications Minister, Senator Helen Coonan.

Mr Baker said today that the closure of the AM transmitter had left hundreds of listeners across North-West Tasmania unable to tune in to the FM frequencies.

“Since ABC Northern Tasmania switched over to FM, I have spoken to many people from across the North-West who have found that they have either not been able to tune into the frequency at all or have been experiencing a less than satisfactory reception,” he said.

“I have taken the issue up with Minister Coonan’s Office and have been informed today that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Broadcast Australia (BA) and the ABC are investigating.

“To help to identify the extent of the problem, I am setting up an ABC Radio Reception Hotline in my office on 1300 135 547.

“I would like to ask North-West listeners to ring the hotline, for the cost of a local call, to report any difficulties in receiving ABC Local Radio.

“I will pass the information on to Minister Coonan and follow up with her Office to ensure that the difficulties are rectified.”

Mr Baker said he understood ACMA believed that an antenna at Round Hill near Burnie, which broadcasts on the 102.5 FM band, may be faulty, and that Broadcasting Australia had been asked by the ABC to check the transmission equipment.

“While this may explain why many listeners on the 102.5 FM band are not able to receive a clear signal, I have had calls from people from right across the North-West with the same complaint,” he said.

“This is why I am asking listeners across the Coast who are experiencing problems with their ABC Local Radio reception to please contact the hotline in my office on 1300 135 547.”