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The joys and perils of outback mining town community radio

Moranbah community radioAustralia’s ABC News service has an nice profile of Moranbah community radio, an outback Queensland station that broadcasts to the mining town of that name.

Interestingly, the general manager of station 4RFM called deejaying at the signal a great cure for the blues. “It can change your perspective,” Kayreen Burgum told ABC.  ” . . .  and we have had a lot of volunteers over the radio station’s 20-year history that have suffered from depression and anxiety . . . and this has been their lifeline,”

The article notes that Moranbah community radio began in 1998 as a youth activity project. Then some older residents glommed onto it. The problem is that, now, the mining industry is on the decline in the area. Consequently the station has suffered a shortage of on air hosts.

We’ve written a lot about old mining towns in the Southwestern United States that lost their populations, became ghost towns, then hippie/artist towns, then started community radio stations. So maybe Moranbah is just a radio station waiting for a new generation of migrants to discover and reinvent it.


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