88.9FM RICHMOND VALLEY RADIO – Disaster proofing communication in an emergency

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88.9FM Radio Coraki Broadcasting Facility

The Richmond Valley has seen its fair share of local emergencies in recent times and 88.9FM realised an emergency studio was needed. Their project was designed to defeat NBN and/or mains power failure at the studio during a disaster. This was achieved by directly connecting a caravan-studio (with accommodation) to the existing community transmitter and solar power system at the elevated transmission facility atop Mount Moonimba, inland from Woodburn. All radio stations – big and small – create live programs at studios in urban areas. The produced audio signal is then transferred via a special radio signal to an elevated transmission facility for processing and then community consumption.

Following the 2022 floods, the radio station has continued to hear many stories from the local community with the central theme being the loss of communication at the height of the crisis. An NRCF Community Grant has enabled Richmond Valley Radio to convert a caravan into an emergency studio so 88.9FM can remain broadcasting 24/7 in the event of a disaster.

This will keep its community informed and up to date, allowing accurate, timely evacuation recommendations and helping to protect people, homes and livestock. Other positive outcomes from the installation of such vital equipment include playing a part in the healing of the mental health issues around communication (lack of) that arose from previous disasters.

Robyne Wood, Secretary at 88.9FM was thrilled with the outcome saying –

“This should be the last major infrastructure project we undertake for a few years. I know it’s a wonderful listener magnet, and broadcasting wise, it makes us flood-proof, but I also know it won’t be the last mega-job. Boys! …Let’s have a building spell until 2025. At least!” 


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