Unknowingly to many across regional Australia the ABC have been closing down services and programmes. They have closed down Shortwave radio out west and into the Pacific Islands and they are cutting programmes and culturally iconic Australian Music content off-air saying that Australians are now able to either access these "or similar" via VAST satellite or via the internet. The decision by Michelle Guthrie to take an axe rather than a broom to Regional ABC services has created a massive divide between Regional and Rural audiences reliant on those services and their metropolitan counterparts able to stream whatever they wish via their mobile devices, their data plans and their access to the NBN and other digital providers. In Senate Estimates on 28 February, ABC MD Michelle Guthrie stated: “I wouldn’t characterise taking three music programs away from RN as an extraordinary decision.” In that grilling Guthrie admitted to consulting with remote communities about pulling shortwave after she had made the decision. Many argue that there has been poor consultation on the decision to cut cultural and iconic music content as well. Nearly 23,000 members of the Australian public have argued that the loss of SIX expertly curated music shows is, in fact, a cultural disaster. Here is footage of the 'Bullshit' Flash mob at ABC Ultimo indicating their displeasure with the ABC management and ABC Board.
Footage courtesy Judy Fernandez Music and Direction: Stephen Taberner