Today I join Dr John Momis President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and New Zealand High Commissioner, His Excellency Tony Fautua in Arawa to launch a mobile community radio service.
Funded by Australia and New Zealand, the project will provide a vital service for the people of Bougainville by increasing radio reach outside of the town of Buka.
Only 20 per cent of Bougainville’s population of 300,000 people has access to radio – a consequence of the destruction of infrastructure during the ten-year Bougainville conflict. It is vital that radio access be expanded with the opening of a window in 2015 for a referendum on Bougainville’s future under the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
The mobile radio is transported by car and can broadcast messages across a 50 -100 kilometre range. It is a good example of the innovative work undertaken by Australia and New Zealand’s main program the Governance and Implementation Fund for providing governance and economic development support to the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
The mobile radio’s ability to record and broadcast community discussions will play a key role in facilitating dialogue and debate between communities and the government.
It allows the ABG to broadcast community messages and record talkback on issues including the Bougainville Peace Agreement while it works with the National Broadcasting Corporation to restore the reach of a region-wide FM broadcast signal.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555