Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, January 20, 2003

Auntie's local Canberra station 666-2CN became the voice of the Canberra communiity during the bushfire emergency of last Saturday.

It was the channel through which emergency services and government spoke to a city that was, to be blunt, caught out by the speed and ferocity of the fire-front.

It was the medium for the exchanges between the desperate and the desperately keen to help.

Local ABC staff served not only in their professional role as communicators, but also as counsellors, advisors, consolers. 24 hours a day, without a hitch.

They linked into the ABC regional networks to keep a lot of worried people in touch with the fate of their families and friends, so far as that was possible. Considering that telephone services were over-loaded it was an essential service.

Superb public service broadcasting.