Robbie Katter calls for local ‘rag’ support
The loss of the local 'rag' will send shockwaves through the regions, Katter's Australian Party leader Robbie Katter said.
As News Corp Australia announced it would close hundreds of regional titles, including the Mackay Daily Mercury , the Northern Miner , the Herbert River Express, Burdekin Advocate, Whitsunday Times and more, and move to an online only platform, Mr Katter said this decision would devastate local communities.
This change will not affect the Townsville Bulletin, it will continue to have a daily newspaper.
"To have these local papers ripped away from us just breaks your heart, and it draws a line in the sand between city and country in terms of where the big corporations are willing to invest their dollars," he said.
"We are not dinosaurs, and accept the world is moving online but to get your news via a link is certainly no substitute for an actual newspaper that is curated and tailored for its readership.
"The big concern here also is jobs - there are some really great journalists working out in the regions who perform vital roles on so many levels.
"We are yet to learn what this means for those people, but to say we are concerned is an understatement."
Mr Katter, whose wife is a former journalist, said if the State Government was willing to put money on the table for Virgin Australia to save hundreds of Queensland jobs, the government should seriously consider stepping in at this point.
"Now what about all the jobs for journalists in regional areas now where's the response from government," he said.
"And again, if all the other MPs from the other parties are standing with the KAP on this. Then there's a real problem in politics in Queensland because this is a real turning point in the way in the cultural divide between city and country if they can help us in this, and it's very hard to measure the depth of the impact of the shutting down of these (papers will have)."
Mr Katter said the KAP was interested in showing support to any potential news services in small towns.
Originally published as Katter calls for local 'rag' support