ABC Local Radio broadcasts over most of the continent using terrestrial transmission, and covers it completely using satellites. Its content is an easy-listening mix of news, current affairs, talkback, entertainment, sport, music and local issues.
Depending on the time of day and the day of the week, programming can either be purely local (typically on weekday mornings), from the state or territory capital city ABC station, or broadcast on all ABC Local Radio services across the country (typically overnight and on weekends).
ABC Coast FM in southern Queensland and northern NSW has a slightly different format to the other ABC Local Radio stations. They have less talk and more music, including simulcasts of DiG Radio and DiG Jazz.
In the 1980s, Radio National emerged from Radio 2 and Radio 3 dropped its Radio 2 content with Radio 1 becoming ABC Metro Radio and Radio 3 becoming ABC Regional Radio. The Regional Radio stations provided local programming in breakfast and drive but networked common Local Radio content for most of their broadcasting hours. Some different, local market formats emerged, including the Darwin Metro 8DDD, FM105.7 and Gold Coast Regional, ABC Coast FM, 91.7. Up until the mid 1990s, the majority of the local radio stations identified on-air as (frequency) (callsign). In the 1990's, a different convention was used, generally as ABC Radio (region) or (region) FM.
In 2000 these two almost identical networks became known as "ABC Local Radio". From this point all ABC Local Radio stations ceased to identify themselves according to their callsigns or other existing names, and instead use the format (frequency) ABC (region), or ABC (region) where there are multiple frequencies broadcasting the same service. However, as the callsigns were used continuously for up to seventy years and are much shorter than the new names, many long-term listeners still use these callsigns to refer to ABC Local Radio stations.
There are over fifty ABC Local Radio stations. Its capital city stations, including their callsigns, are: