The official opening of the 2NR radio station on 17 July 1936 was opened with a recorded speech by Dr Earle Page, MHR, Minister for Customs and Leader of the Country Party in the Federal Parliament, who was in London.
Dr Page’s Speech:
‘I would like to express my gratification at being associated with the opening of the National Broadcasting Commission, has been to bring the benefits of wireless to every part of Australia and, in fact, to all parts of the sea surrounding Australia and to all ships trading on our coasts.
‘Powerful stations have been established in all capital cities, which are able to be heard at night in certain seasons, over the whole extent of our great continent, but those are unable to be properly heard during the day, and when the stormy seasons come, the static is frequently so bad that a good reception is impossible – even at night’.
‘Because of the position, the Commonwealth Government has made a wide and prudent provision to allocate a certain portion of the listeners fees to provide national regional stations, well distributed over the Commonwealth, that can give the best service to every section of the country. Up to the present, some fifteen national stations have been installed’.
‘The national station at Lawrence has been long overdue, because of the physical difficulties in the way, due to the certain causes-notably the proximity of the dividing range with its deep gorges, highly mineralised hills and frequent storms’.
‘The station will now fill this long felt gap between Newcastle and Brisbane, and enable all the people of these districts to hear news of the world, its best music and the greatest entertainers, without leaving their homes, at all times of the day and night’.
‘Only 15 years ago I remember that it was thought to be a great thing to transmit a performance from Parliament House to St Kilda – a distance from two or three miles. Today, in favourable conditions, almost every station in the world can be heard’.
‘This new convenience is due to the spread of electrical development, and I look to electricity to restore the balance between the country and city again. The coming of steam power forced aggregations of people round the site of the power. Electricity scatters them again over the countryside’.
‘Electric power and light, electric telephones and now wireless, are annihilating distances- removing isolation, putting the country dweller in touch with the whole of the world doings, and enabling him or her, for that matter, to enjoy all of the conveniences of culture and amusements with the advantages of a country atmosphere and its pleasures’.
‘Wireless in a few short years has been an integral part of our national life, and when aided by television-which seems to be well on- will become the greatest interpreter of the outside world, and will help to dispel bitterness between the nations’.
‘I congratulate the Government on its enterprise in establishing the station. I congratulate the North Coast on good fortune in at last being so well equipped and I would like to give a word of praise for those enthusiasts like Patterson of Grafton and Clarke of Karruba, who never, in season and out of season, have failed to agitate for its establishment’.
‘I wish this station an uninterrupted record of beneficence, and pleasure to the people of those districts it will serve, and to the whole of Australia’.