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Wagga Wagga to receive ABC NewsRadio and enhanced ABC local radio service.

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Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

Media Release

Media Contact: Fiona Telford 02 6277 7480

39/07 Wednesday 18 April 2007

Wagga Wagga to receive ABC NewsRadio and enhanced ABC Local Radio service

Residents of Wagga Wagga and surrounding regions will receive ABC NewsRadio broadcasts and an enhanced ABC Local Radio service, the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, announced today.

Senator Coonan made the announcement today at the official launch of the ABC NewsRadio and Local Radio Extension and Enhancement Initiative in Wagga Wagga.

“The delivery of these services to the region is part of the first stage of a roll-out to extend and enhance ABC NewsRadio and Local Radio services across Australia,” Senator Coonan said.

“It is currently estimated that NewsRadio covers around 78 per cent of the Australian population.

“Once all three stages of the roll-out of NewsRadio have been completed, it is estimated over 95 per cent of the population will have coverage.”

Senator Coonan said the extension of NewsRadio and enhanced Local Radio services will be broadcast from the existing Wagga Wagga ABC Local Radio site and it is expected that they will reach an estimated 50 000 listeners in the region.

ABC NewsRadio began broadcasting in August 1994 and is Australia’s only live, national news network. The service broadcasts breaking news, sport, finance, weather, and live coverage of Federal Parliament, 24 hours a day, to all capital cities as well as Newcastle,

the Gold Coast, Gosford and Launceston. It is also accessible over the Internet.

“The commencement of these services follows the Australian Government’s commitment to extend ABC NewsRadio and enhance Local Radio services in regional Australia,” Senator Coonan said.

“ABC Local Radio is often the only mobile source of vital weather and emergency service information for Australians living in rural, regional and remote Australia.”

“The enhancement of ABC Local Radio in Wagga Wagga, with a more robust signal to the coverage area and improved service reliability, will greatly improve coverage of this vital service to the community.”