Alarm over ad’s ab­sence

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Letters - Rick Ens­ley, Mar­garet River

While read­ing last week’s edi­tion, I no­ticed the ab­sence of the Shire’s “Coun­cil for the Com­mu­nity” no­tices.

Af­ter in­quiries, it seems the Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River has dis­con­tin­ued its ad­ver­tis­ing with the Times.

This sit­u­a­tion is in­ex­pli­ca­ble if in­deed ac­tu­ally true. The other weekly pa­per with which the ad­ver­tis­ing con­tin­ues has no lo­cal of­fice, ever-de­creas­ing lo­cal con­tent and min­i­mal news about lo­cal govern­ment and pol­i­tics.

As a many-years vet­eran of coun­cil meet­ings, I can­not re­call the last time I saw some­one from the Fair­fax pa­per.

On the other hand, the Times has a re­porter at every sin­gle or­di­nary and spe­cial meet­ing.

It pro­duces de­tailed, un­bi­ased cov­er­age of the mul­ti­tude of so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic is­sues, es­pe­cially with re­spect to lo­cal govern­ment.

How could the Shire de­cide to with­draw its ad­ver­tis­ing with its read­er­ship of 9000 peo­ple and its vir­tu­ally ex­clu­sive cov­er­age of Shire is­sues? This goes com­pletely against coun­cil­lors’ well-ex­pressed in­ten­tions and ac­tions to­wards trans­parency and com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion.

There are mil­lions of dol­lars for main-street projects and the cul­tural cen­tre, but ratepay­ers can’t af­ford (or are not given) pub­lic ac­cess to the in­for­ma­tion we de­serve. This is in­ex­pli­ca­ble.

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