House debates

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Statements by Members

Richmond Electorate: Newspapers

1:45 pm

Photo of Justine ElliotJustine Elliot (Richmond, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to acknowledge and pay tribute to the local print media on the New South Wales North Coast. It's deeply concerning that several of our local newspaper will soon become digital-only. It was recently announced that a number of local News Corp papers will soon stop printing. This includes the Ballina Shire Advocate, the Tweed Daily News, the Byron Shire News and The Northern Star. These closures are a devastating blow for our local community.

Local newspapers and local journalists play an essential role in breaking news and telling the stories that matter to us and our communities. Over decades these newspapers have been a noticeboard for local events, sports and announcements. Our newspapers have also been an essential service in terms of reporting bushfires, floods and, more recently, the coronavirus pandemic. I've been very fortunate to have worked with so many local editors, journalists and photographers at all these papers, and one thing they all have in common is a deep commitment to our region. I wish them well into the future and thank them for all their hard work over so many years.

Thankfully, we still have outstanding independent papers in my region, including the Byron Echo, the Tweed Valley Weekly and, indeed, The Nimbin Good Times, based in Page but actually read by many people in my area. They're all proudly run locally and independently and they produce incredibly informative local productions. I note the very vital, important roles that they play and I look forward to an increased circulation for all of these independent papers.

Our print media and our media diversity are essentially important, and I encourage locals to continue to support the local independent papers.