Regional radio comes together in Townsville floods
In the face of adversity and disaster communities will come together to get through the crisis be it cyclone, fire or flood.
As witnessed in Victoria’s 2009 Black Saturday tragedy, community spirit was shining brightly in Townsville in the face of historic flooding.
Those flood waters are receding and the clean up is underway with the resilience of North Queensland reflected by local radio stations, which covered the disaster as it unfolded.
All four Townsville stations dropped network or automation and were “live and local” 24/7, covering breaking news from the floods and providing updated weather and emergency information.
Breakfast shows were often on-air twice a day with some staff sleeping on couches and floors before returning to the airwaves, while the stations themselves became drop-off points for donated food and goods and rallying points for volunteers.
CEO of Commercial Radio Australia Joan Warner says the floods coverage illustrated the strong connections a radio station has with its community.
“Local commercial radio stations in regional Australia are an important part of the community and the stations are willing and able to assist in times of emergency.
“The teams across the commercial stations in Townsville have put in very long hours and have shown how effective radio can be in bringing people together when they most need it.”
There is still a long way to go before Townsville has fully recovered from the floods, but it’s clear their local radio stations will be with them every step of the way.