4ZZZ Eviction From Campus

When Young National Party member, Victoria Brazil, became president of the University of Queensland Student Union towards the end of 1988, her administration abruptly cut off all funding to 4ZZZ and forcibly closed down the radio station.

Shortly after 4 am on the morning of 14 December 1988, four members of the new, right-wing student union executive (including Victoria Brazil), together with four security guards, entered the radio station without warning and served a notice of eviction. They insisted that broadcasting cease and for the premises to be vacated immediately. Darren, the volunteer announcer who was on air at the time doing "the graveyard shift", had little choice but to comply with the directive. The station was then locked and guarded by the security firm.

The alarm was raised and broadcasting was quickly restarted directly from the 4ZZZ transmitter hut on Mount Coot-tha using a simple cassette player and a microphone. The call went out over the airwaves for support. By 1:30 pm, about 200 supporters had re-occupied the premises and the radio station was able to resume broadcasting from their studios. The student union responded by calling the police and also cutting off electrical power to the premises. The police arrived on the scene but were reluctant to interfere in a civil matter. Meanwhile, broadcasting was resumed once again by using the stations emergency generator. Later the occupiers took control of the situation by turning the power back on again themselves. Up to 300 supporters at a time occupied the station over the next two weeks to help ensure it kept operating. Both sides in the dispute agreed to negotiations which served to diffuse the situation.

4ZZZ continued to broadcast from their campus-based studios for the next 6 months. With hostilities continuing and the situation becoming increasingly untenable, the decision was made to relocate the station off campus. In July 1989, 4ZZZ moved to temporary premises on Coronation Drive in the nearby suburb of Toowong. In June 1992, the station was able to obtain a loan to buy the former Brisbane headquarters of the Communist Party of Australia. 4ZZZ-FM still broadcasts from these premises on St Paul's Terrace in Fortitude Valley.

Here are two television news reports recorded and broadcast on that fateful day and the following day.....