ABC Radio Australia will be heard again in Palau via EPFM on FM radio at 87.9FM and on EPFM Ngerel Belau AM Radio from Wednesday 28 July 2023.

 The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was attended by Palau Minister of State, the Hon. Gustav Aitaro, and the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon. Pat Conroy on Wednesday.

The MOU   will have ABC Radio Australia programs carried on the Republic of Palau’s national radio broadcaster, Eco Paradise FM (EPFM).

In attending the signing ceremony, Conroy said the MOU shows Palau and Australia “working together.” 

“It’s really important that the people in the Pacific hear stories about themselves and others relevant to their experiences,” he said.   

State Minister Aitaro said that the MOU is “an opportunity to make connectivity closer to Palau and Australia.”

Aitaro thanked the Australian Embassy in Palau in making the return of the ABC programs in the airwaves of the island nation possible. 

In a press statement, ABC International Services Head Claire Gorman acknowledged the support of the Australian Embassy in Koror for brokering the agreement and said:

 “This new partnership is a first step towards the aim of establishing a full FM radio service in Palau, an ABC initiative funded under the Indo-Pacific Broadcasting Strategy.”

Gorman continued: “The ABC is proud to partner with EPFM and has a long history of engagement with Palau, including the provision of ABC Australia content on Palau National Communication Corporation’s (PNCC) television service.”

 Palau residents will have access to programming including flagship regional current affairs show Pacific Beat as well as culture, education, and music shows Stories from the Pacific, Pacific Playtime, and Island Music.

 In 2010, Radio Australia launched its FM transmitter in Palau and to kick off its first broadcast here, ABC covered that year’s Micronesian Games.

Palau joined other FM broadcasts in the Pacific centers of Port Moresby and Lae in Papua New Guinea, Honiara in Solomon Islands, Port Vila and Santo in Vanuatu, Apia in Samoa, Nuku’alofa in Tonga, Rarotonga in Cook Islands, and Tarawa in Kiribati.

That year, Radio Australia said it wanted a presence in the North Pacific.

 But it ended in 2018 due to the budget cuts made by the Australian government in its agreement with the Australian Broadcasting Corp. which resulted in Australia having to switch off several services including radio transmitters in the Federated States of Micronesia and Kiribati.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *