612 ABC Brisbane

City Brisbane, Queensland
Broadcast area Brisbane Gold Coast Ipswich Sunshine Coast Tweed Heads
Branding 612 ABC Brisbane
Frequency 612 kHz AM (also on DAB+)
First air date 7 January 1938 (1938-01-07)[1]
Format Talk
Language(s) English
Power 50,000 watts
Transmitter coordinates 27°18′42″S 153°1′3″E / 27.31167°S 153.01750°E / -27.31167; 153.01750
Affiliations ABC Local Radio
Owner Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Sister stations 4RN, 4ABCFM, 4JJJ
Website Official website

612 ABC Brisbane (callsign: 4QR) is an ABC Local Radio station in Brisbane, Queensland. It is one of the largest stations in the network, serving as a base for Queensland programming - many programs are broadcast across the ABC Local Radio network in regional and rural areas of Queensland when those stations are not carrying local programming.

The 2014 on-air team includes Spencer Howson, Kelly Higgins-Devine, Katrina Davidson, Emma Griffiths and David Curnow. Past presenters have included Tim Cox, Madonna King, Peter Dick, Rod Henshaw, Andrew Carroll and Susan Mitchell.

General History

ABC Brisbane Centre

ABC Brisbane Centre
General information
Status Complete
Type Radio station
Media production studio
Location Australia Brisbane, Australia
Address Russell Street, South Brisbane
Construction started February 2010
Client Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Technical details
Floor count 4 plus basement
Floor area 15,435 m2 (166,141 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architecture firm Richard Kirk Architect
Structural engineer Cardno
Services engineer Aurecon, WSP Group
Other designers Arup
Main contractor Leighton
Richard Kirk Architect

Radio broadcasting began in Brisbane in 1925 when the Government of Queensland commenced its own broadcasting operations with the callsign 4QG - 4 denoted the state of Queensland; QG stood for Queensland Government. 4QG became a part of the ABC's radio network at its inception in 1932.

The ABC started a second Brisbane station on 7 January 1938, using the callsign 4QR. The new station carried national programming—the forerunner of Radio National—while 4QG aired mainly local content. On 28 July 1963, the two stations quietly switched schedules, with 4QR becoming the local outlet for Brisbane while 4QG picked up the national schedule. ABC officials wanted to minimise interruptions of regular programming by parliamentary sessions. 4QG now operates under the callsign 4RN, in common with all other Radio National services in Queensland.

Until December 2006, 612 ABC Brisbane's studios were located on Coronation Drive in the Brisbane inner-city suburb of Toowong (a location severely damaged by water in the 1974 Brisbane floods).

A number of breast cancer cases at the ABC's Toowong studios led to the permanent evacuation of the entire site in December, 2006. 350 staff, from ABC television, radio and online, were relocated. For the next five years, the station broadcast from an office building in Lissner Street Toowong. In January 2012, 612 moved to a newly built facility in South Bank.

In September 2006, 612 ABC Brisbane was "host radio broadcaster" for naturalist Steve Irwin's memorial service at Australia Zoo, Beerwah. Breakfast announcers Spencer Howson (from 612 ABC Brisbane) and John Stokes (from the ABC Sunshine Coast station) were chosen to host the broadcast, made available to radio stations around the world.

Technical History

Radio 4QR commenced operation on 7 January 1938.

At commencement the station was owned by the Commonwealth of Australia and under the legislation of the day required no licence. The Postmaster-General's Department maintained the transmission system and the station's studios, while the Australian Broadcasting Commission (subsequently Australian Broadcasting Corporation from 1 July 1983) created the programme content to be transmitted. A licence was issued for the first time in 1992 in accordance with the newly legislated Broadcasting Services Act.

Initially it operated on a frequency of 940 kHz within the then current 10 kHz channel spacing plan. On 1 September 1948 the station changed frequency to 590 kHz to accord with a revised Australia / New Zealand 10 kHz channel spacing plan which involved many changes to Australian station frequencies, particularly those in Queensland and New South Wales. In 1972/1973 the 4QR frequency was changed slightly to 580 kHz. Finally, on 24 November 1978 the frequency was changed to 612 kHz to accord with the 9 kHz channel spacing plan which had been agreed by Australia at Geneva in 1975 ("The 1975 Geneva Agreement").

Station 4QR has seen several power increases since its commencement, both to increase its coverage area and to ameliorate increasing levels of man-made radio noise and night-time skywave interference levels. Initial operation was at 500 Watts. Power was increased to 1 kW in 1942/1943 and again to 2 kW in 1944/1945 to support the many military personnel in Brisbane during World War II. Power was increased to 10 kW in 1948/1949 and finally to 50 kW in 1962/1963.

At the time of initial establishment Radio 4QR operated from a city location. For many years now Radio 4QR has shared (with Radio 4QG, now 4RN) a tall dual anti-fading guyed and sectionalised vertical radiator of 198 metres AGL with structural capacitative top hat located at Bald Hills on the northern outskirts of Brisbane. The mast is a very prominent feature visible from major highways in the vicinity. There is a shorter (81 metres AGL) vertical guyed radiator on the site which provides a standby capability during main antenna maintenance.

Current Programs

All programs are produced for a local or statewide audience unless marked National. All times are in Australian Eastern Standard time (UTC+10). Queensland does not observe daylight saving.

Mondays to Fridays



Current Reporters

612 ABC Brisbane has three reporters who work across a variety of shows.

Emma Sykes

Terri Begley is the Breakfast and Mornings field reporter.

Miriam Hall


The Mornings show currently runs from 8:30am until 11:00am with the first 30 minutes devoted to the main news stories of the day. Prime ministers, premiers and other politicians will lobby to be interviewed in this first half hour.

After 9:00am talkback callers are encouraged to contribute to the day's debate.

However, Mornings has proved almost as controversial as the stories normally covered on the local current affairs show. Several people have presented the show over the years with their departure often making headlines.

Recent presenters have been Madonna King (2006–11), Steve Austin (2004-5), Kirsten Macgregor (2003), Susan Mitchell (2002), Andrew Carroll (2000-1), Cathy Border (2000), John Barton, Carolyn Tucker (1998–99), Anna Reynolds and Rod Henshaw.

In 2002, the ABC was forced to apologise to Andrew Carroll and admit he was unfairly sacked (See Media Release). Carroll was taken off-air after commenting, during an interview with Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, that he would have to "reconsider the terms of his contract" (or similar). Carroll's story was featured on the ABC's own media watchdog program Media Watch.

In October 2011, King announced that she would be leaving the station to spend more time with her children. In December 2011, Steve Austin was announced as King's replacement.


  1. "Opening of National Broadcasting Station 4QR". The Queenslander. 12 January 1938. p. 33. Retrieved 7 May 2010.

External links

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