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  • Writer's pictureAllan Prince

Back on the air.

DOUGLAS Shire residents, who still enjoy the pleasures of the wireless – a term first used by the BBC in the early 1920s – or the radio, will be pleased to learn that Port Douglas is back on the airways with the launch of Fab FM.

The new “Voice of the Douglas Shire” went live a day before Anzac Day and for directors Paul Makin and Marion Blackham, the six-month journey to make this happen has been worth the wait.  

“Using the radio to communicate to local listeners, and the many thousands of visitors who venture into our beautiful part of the world from all points of the globe, we are committed to telling community stories, celebrating local and Australian music and arts, championing ideas, providing local, independent news and giving access to the diverse voices of our community,” said Makin, a 50-year media veteran who has a wealth of radio experience with 2GB, 2UE and ABC News Radio.

“It will be an organic process as we find our feet and soak up the region, but rest assured we will be putting the Douglas Shire first in everything we do,” said Makin.

Radio Port Douglas was established in December 1999 by Jay Amundsen and Henry Ellison. Communicating from an old single-watt transmitter, the first radio sounds to be heard came from an antenna fixed to the guttering of a private residence atop Flagstaff Hill. Early music playlists were the directors’ CD collections and any other music that could be found.

The station continued to entertain the local community from that location until 2001 when a small group of passionate radio people undertook the mammoth task of relocating the station from the top of Flagstaff Hill to the new studios in the Pavilions Complex on Macrossan Street, where it remained until it was moved into a new studio at the Marina Mirage.

The station has seen many announcers come and go but only two stalwarts in Dave 'Double-O' Evans and Dale Priem stayed on to see the move to the Marina Mirage.

Michael & Helen Gabour came onto the scene as partners in 2003, going on to become the sole owners and relocating the studios back to Macrossan Street.

Under their stewardship, and until their retirement, the station continued to improve, entertaining the locals and tourists alike with local news and issues.

Radio Port Douglas has been a shining beacon for the Douglas Shire and now in 2018 it becomes FAB FM.

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