Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowlands is missing in action after the sudden shut down of the Spencer Gulf Nightly News services in South Australia.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the news is a major blow for regional SA.
“This is an appalling outcome, seemingly taken with no consultation with the local community. Councils, sporting bodies, regular advertisers, community groups and the elected representatives of the area, have all been blind-sided by the decision,” he said.
“I am fully aware regional news services are under increasing pressure, but so would be Communications Minister Michelle Rowlands, and it seems she is not prepared to anything to intervene.
“Communications Minister Michelle Rowland is on the record as recently as March this year saying, “Local news outlets are at the heart of our regional communities, investigating and sharing the stories that matter, and keeping locals informed and connected.”
“If that is the case, I want to know what she has done to keep this vital service in place, because at this stage I have heard nothing.
“This decision leaves communities without a vehicle to deliver visual news across a huge geographic portion of the state and long experience tells us that our news will be of precious little interest to the Adelaide metropolitan networks.
“The Coalition provided $10m for Southern Cross Austereo through the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program during Covid. It kept them in business.
“Now despite the rhetoric it seems they will not lift a finger to keep regional news services operating.”
The decision by Southern Cross Austereo to end the television news services impacts residents across large areas of the state, including the Mid-North and Eyre Peninsula, plus Broken Hill in New South Wales.
Media contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 0417827523
April 14 2023