We have reason to fear threats to the survival of newspapers, so I write to express my gratitude for the vital role your paper performs.
As a pillar of democracy you inform our community about matters of interest in a highly professional manner while encouraging all residents to share their perceptions.
In some countries, councils have taken over local news. Readers should ponder how many forms they would be required to submit, and how many points of view would be circulated if the paper in front of them was edited by Eurobodalla Shire Council.
Soon residents must choose who will represent them. Our choice will propel the shire to rise or to stumble. By coincidence our council decided all residents must be influenced by the Community Update 2012. Delivered by post to every household, wanted or not, read or not, all costs were extracted from our rates. Costs of collecting and recycling will soon be added. No one asked if this expenditure is our highest priority.
Some official decided we must all benefit from colour illustrations. But the quality of information collapses when the back page is examined. It purports to provide an authoritative description of “Who looks after what in Australia and NSW?”.
How educational or trustworthy is such information when it ignores, for example, Federal Government responsibilities for health, Aboriginal affairs, aged care, infrastructure, veterans affairs, aviation, customs, quarantine, education, taxation and a host of other important matters that impact on the everyday lives of residents?
Council’s general manager defends the trivialised descriptions of the significance of Federal and State responsibilities because they came from a website. Facts, and the relevance of Section 51 of the Australian Constitution, are of no interest.
Let us hope your newspaper will remain with us for many more years. Hopefully you will some day report on the shire’s rise to respect integrity, sound and transparent decisions, and higher levels of accountability.
Don Burns, Tuross Head