It's official: Radio Australia are no longer on shortwave and only time will tell of all the implications of what I feel is an incredibly short-sighted decision.
Having heard that they might switch off their transmitters at midnight universal time on January 31st, I monitored their 17840 kHz signal remotely via a KiwiSDR server located in New Zealand (there is no night-time propagation path from their Shepparton transmitter site to the UK at this time of the year). I was encouraged to find that they were still on the air after midnight UTC and thought this meant they would go on until midnight Sydney time, in which case I might be able to record their sign-off from my usual outdoor shortwave listening and spectrum capture spot.
However, I hadn't seen the most recent updates informing listeners that transmissions would be cut at noon Australian Eastern Standard Time (0100 UTC). I thus missed their sign-off on the KiwiSDR, but I was able to record their last news bulletin from it, which gave me some faint hope that we might see them back on the air one day:
News: @radioaustralia didn't go off air at 00 UTC & @Nick_Xenophon wants to legislate reinstatement of SW broadcasts pic.twitter.com/oFut06kZRq— London Shortwave (@LondonShortwave) January 31, 2017
I made my last personal recording of their shortwave signal out in the park on January 30th, using my portable spectrum capture set-up. The signal was a lot weaker than normal at this time of the day but still perfectly intelligible.
Three and a half years earlier, I tuned into them for the very first time, while on a trip to Moscow, Russia:
Fairwell, Radio Australia. You will be missed.