Radio tower upgrade 21 July to early November 2020

BAI Communications (BAI) – a broadcast and telecommunications service provider is investing in a new mast to deliver ABC Local Radio to the Townsville area.

The existing mast, owned and operated by BAI, was built in 1959 and stands at 198m tall. As part of BAI’s commitment to proactive network reinvestment, it will be replaced with a new 236m guyed mast, making it the tallest structure in the BAI network.

The new mast is engineered to withstand stronger cyclonic winds than the current mast, therefore it will be more resilient against extreme weather events.

BAI will begin the process of replacing the existing mast on 21 July 2020. The project is expected to run for three-and-a-half months, with completion scheduled for 30 October 2020, subject to weather.

Keep listening to ABC North Queensland during the Brandon MF upgrades

  • Townsville
    91.1 FM
  • Charters Towers/Cardwell
    100.1 FM

Get in touch

For more information email: or visit: or @abcnorthqld


  • Why replace the transmission mast?
  • The existing mast was built in 1959 and stands at 198m tall. As part of BAI Communications’ commitment to proactive network reinvestment, it will be replaced with a new 236m guyed mast designed to be more resilient against challenging weather conditions such as tropical cyclones. Replacement of the mast ensures longer term continuity and increased reliability of the ABC Local Radio service in this region.

  • Why is it being done now?
  • By completing the construction between July and October, weather impacts on the construction schedule can be minimised, and the mast will be complete in time to provide full coverage through the upcoming cyclone season

  • How long will this work go on for?
  • The dismantling of the current Brandon MF mast will begin on 21 July and the rebuilding of the new mast will start in late August 2020.  The work is scheduled to be completed by early November.

  • Which area(s) is affected by this work?
  • The Brandon service covers the Townsville region and its surrounds; north to the Cairns Region south to the Whitsunday Coast and Mackay and west to Charters Towers.

    • Major Population centres Cairns Region and Whitsunday Coast have overlapping FM services located in their area and are will receive overall good/excellent audio quality
    • Central (Townsville and surrounds) will receive overall good/excellent audio quality from Brandon even at low power
    • Pentland Town, North Cassowary and Coalfields in the south of the coverage area will receive at least fair audio quality from overlapping service
    • Cardwell, South Cassowary, Tully Valley will benefit from temporary in-fill services and are will receive overall good audio quality
    • Highway corridors will receive audio quality suitable for emergency broadcasting on 630AM
  • How may potential listeners will be affected?
  • The ABC Local AM service operating at 50kW covers a population of approximately 600,000 potential listeners.

  • Which areas are more impacted?
  • Listeners in the Kennedy Highway Corridor will have no reception from 9 September to 21 September and listeners in the Gregory Highway Corridors will have no reception from 12 September to 16 September.

  • Will my ABC North Qld reception be affected?
  • Around 90 per cent of current listeners to ABC North Qld will still be able to tune into the station on 630AM although some listeners might experience some audio quality reduction.

  • Will other ABC stations be affected?
  • No. This work only affects the ABC’s 630 AM signal for its ABC North Queensland service.  ABC Classic, RN, triple j and ABC NewsRadio will not be affected.

  • If my ABC NQ reception is poor or has dropped out, how can I continue to listen to the station?
  • There are a number of alternative ways in which you can continue to listen to ABC North Qld.

    • Temporary FM frequencies:
      • Townsville:    91.1 FM
      • Charters Towers/Cardwell:   100.1 FM
    • ABC listen App. Listen live to ABC North Queensland on your mobile. Download from your Apple Store or Google Play.
    • Smart Speaker: Ask your home smart speaker to “play ABC North Queensland”
  • Which areas will be serviced by the new temporary FM transmissions?
    • 91.1FM in-fill will provide comparable coverage to existing ABC FM services in the Townsville area. This will cover the greater Townsville city including areas well south of Ayr to as far north as Ingham.
    • 100.1FM will be available from the Charters Towers in-fill, which will cover all of this township including out to 20km from the town centre in all directions including the A6, A7 highways and highway 63.
    • 100.1FM will also be used for the Cardwell in-fill, which will cover all of this township and surrounding area including the A1 highway as far north as Tully.
  • If I still have trouble listening to ABC NQ via alternative platforms or frequencies, is there someone I can contact to get more advice?
  • For more information and updates visit:

    Facebook: @abcnorthqld

  • Will ABC still be able to provide emergency broadcasting should there be an emergency event in the region during this work?
  • BAI Communications and ABC, will ensure all listeners covered by the tower will be able to receive emergency broadcasting in the event of an emergency by returning the stand-by tower to full strength.

Brandon MF in numbers


Brandon MF was built in 1959, providing ABC Local Radio services to the Townsville area.


Brandon MF currently stands at 198m tall.


Brandon MF covers a population of approximately 600,000 potential listeners.


The existing main mast will be replaced with a new 236m guyed mast.