We are a diverse mob in Indigenous radio. Our combined experience goes unnoticed by the general public, but we can turn our hand to anything, among our peers we are all Black Stars.
One lingering issue among funders is who is responsible for assets that fall outside normal broadcast infrastructure, such as radio towers and transmission equipment.
This conundrum was faced by Black Star and Wujul Wujul Council. Working together we were able to solve the problem of an ageing broadcast tower, in danger of collapsing onto an adjacent office building.
The tower is repaired, but the issue of who is responsible for the infrastructure and asset remains unresolved. At least both parties can at least be satisfied that we acted in the best interests of the community. And what a job it was,
The job involved a lot of preparation, ordering the replacement guy wire, stainless steel cables and anchor turnbuckles whichhad to come from Western Australia, and the expert rigging crew from Cairns.
A mobile 60-ton Crane had to be bought in from Cooktown, down a winding and scenic road, and at this time of the year dodging lots of grey nomads towing caravans and camper vans. Meeting a big crane on the track can be daunting experience for them.
Normally the crew would just climb the tower, but because of the dangerous situation with the guy ropes, it was decided that the only approach was with a crane. The galvanized guy wires had turned to rust and one was hanging by a single strand, so we had to bring in the crane and send the riggers up in a man box.
The delicate operation of replacing all the cables to stainless steel, realigning the tower took 6 hours to complete.
We all gave a collected sigh of relief for a job well done, packed up and hit the road back to Cairns, along the scenic route through the Daintree Forest, Mossman, the Beaches and back to Cairns.
That’s a part of the job that makes working in remote media all worthwhile.