Clarence Valley Council (CVC) has yet to decide whether or not it will resume publishing its statutory advertising in print form.
The council’s general manager, Ashley Lindsay, said CVC is “still reviewing [its] options”.
In April this year, the Office of Local Government announced that NSW councils would no longer have to publish statutory advertising in newspapers (developments, documents and the like); instead councils are now able to publish the information on their websites.
“…not all people have access to digital media and we have to make a conscious decision to ensure everybody is informed,” he said.
“One of the key things with that: are we reaching the broader community by just putting it on the website?
“We’ll need to make a conscious decision: if we decide to stick with just website information and Facebook; is that enough to get the message out to the community?”
Since that time, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, both of the local newspapers, the Daily Examiner and the Independent ceased printing, however, the Independent began printing again, thanks to the Australian Government’s JobKeeper scheme and a NSW Government pandemic-related grant.
The Independent’s manager, Anne Mazzitelli, said the paper’s print run would number 11,000 this week.
“We’re steadily increasing the print run as we can afford to,” she said.
“Demand has been fantastic; we had fewer than 100 returns from last week’s 9,500 papers, which were distributed to over 70 outlets around the valley.
“Unfortunately, we have had to cease home deliveries, as it’s no longer economically viable.”
Last week, the Independent lodged a detailed enquiry with CVC, regarding its plans; however, Mr Lindsay responded in an email, writing: “At this time we are still reviewing our options.
“Given that we now have two printed papers circulating in the Clarence Valley we need to consider the reach of these papers to determine the best outcome for our community.”
Mr Lindsay declined an invitation to directly speak about the issue.