Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Australian time calls

I suppose it is no issue to the US, or to Russia and it Australia is shouldn't be so complicated either.

ABC News Radio, a national programme, broadcasts to all of Australia simultaneously. Radio National also broadcasts to all of Australia, but I think it does some time shifting of programmes, so you don't get so many time calls.

Sorting the logistics of different time zones for our national broadcaster must be a nightmare. It is a bit of a nightmare for us listeners.

While Australia has three time zones, western, central and eastern, come daylight saving, this increases to five.

Easier for me to use the capital city names rather than state names. Eastern time zone, Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart all move forward one hour, but Brisbane does not.

Adelaide on central time moves forward an hour, but in the same zone, Darwin does not.

And nothing moves Perth in the western zone. They even took a vote on it.

So on the radio, we hear something like this.

It is 11.16 in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales, 10.16 in Queensland, 10.46 in South Australia, 9.46 in Nothern Territory and 8.16 in West Australia. I have heard it on the radio before, but not of late perhaps because it is the same, and 10.46 in Broken Hill. Although Broken Hill is in outback NSW, it takes it time from South Australia.

I hope that clears up any confusion you may have. It is clear as mud to me.


  1. During daylight saving time I also hear ABC radio referring to the time as, for example, '5 past' without any reference to the hour.

  2. Supposedly most of the U.S. doesn't want Daylight Savings Time. Someone must make money off of the change in time.

  3. So when you travel, plane, train, automobile, you could arrive before you leave?

  4. Its all to complicated and confusing and should be changed to all one time but retain daylight saving :-).

  5. Victor '5 past The Hour' is a wise compromise.
    I loathe daylight saving.
    It's mainly a plot by golfers to play after work.

  6. For a nation that is very wide on the EW axis, Australia is not too badly off. Before the UK organised itself on one time zone (Greenwich mean time), every local council fought vigorously to preserve the right to set its own time. Just to give one example, imagine the nightmare for train line schedules.

  7. Victor, I would guess that is RN, which is why I suggested that RN delays programmes as five past the hour doesn't work for everywhere during daylight saving.

    Rubye, it has a fraught history here too. Generally the higher populated states with big cities like it, whereas more rural states don't. Queensland is another matter.

    Yes, you could Peter. Some extra time in your life, but only if you stay where you have gone and don't come back.

    Windsmoke, I have tried to think of a reason why that couldn't be the case, but I can't work one out. It is only a number.

    Em Stacks, see reply to Victor. I like it. Who wants bright sun at 5am?

    Hels, very interesting. I wasn't aware of that. About when was that?

  8. "It is 11.16 in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales, 10.16 in Queensland, 10.46 in South Australia, 9.46 in Nothern Territory and 8.16 in West Australia."

    ... and it's 1956 at Victoria's Herald Sun. (Apart from the Andrew Bolt column, where it's 1939.)

  9. Railway time was the standardised time arrangement first utilised by the Great Western Railway in 1841. But it took ages before railway time was progressively taken up by all of the other British railway companies, let alone by cities and counties. Most of Great Britain's time “zones” were being finally being synchronised (using GMT) by the late 1850s.

    Other countries took till the late 19th century.

  10. I often hear Trevor Chappel and Tony Delroy go through the all the time zone time calls, overnight.
    Then again I have no life.

  11. not true Jayne - you have BlogLIFE and it is far superior to the other kind.
    WE know what's going on. X X

  12. Things would be simpler, for me anyway, if daylight saving was scrapped. But when it comes right down to the nitty-gritty, as long as I get to work on time, that's all that really matters.

  13. Interesting post, with illuminating and/or amusing comments. Thanks all.

  14. LS, while I think know thy enemy is a wise proverb, why on earth do you read Bolt.

    Hels, so railways pushed the standard time then. As I said, very interesting.

    Jayne, I think they delay their programme to the west too, so you wouldn't get them all?

    Em Stacks, blogging is real life. I agree.

    River, why would it be simpler?

    FruitCake, without comments, I am nothing.

  15. ...then factor in the states that take on daylight savings and those who don't....

    Overseas, the daylight savings switcharoos means that the time difference is eight hours during the European summer and now ten hours during the colder months - rather confusing.

  16. You forgot to mention the ACT :)
    Welcome to my world.

  17. Kath, there was a time when England went forward, we went back, but that is out of sync now. So for a brief time, it is the standard ten hours. Thank goodness for smart phones.

    James, just be grateful Tassie is with the us now with daylight saving,

  18. Agreed, but my world would be a much happier place if SA and NT were "on the hour" instead of the half-hour, and it would actually save a lot of money. By the way you know about the previously official, but now unofficial timezone of UTC +845 for half a dozen road-houses on the Nullabor? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucla,_Western_Australia making it Australia's 6th time-zone at this time of the year.

  19. Totally unaware of that James. Off to read about it now. Great for trivia.

  20. I seem to have missed a couple of your posts. I love daylight savings, I wake up early enough as it is. Daylight at 5am would be rather tedious. Unless the gym or something also opened at 5am and I could do something with my time.

  21. Fen, you sound like such a morning person.