PUBLIC notices will continue to be required to be published in regional newspapers, in a win for regional publishers and regional communities.
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed helped change the direction of the State Government’s move to cut government spending on regional newspapers, while greatly reducing community access to information.
Ms Sheed questioned Premier Dan Andrews about Labor’s attempt to remove the government’s requirement to place public notices in local newspapers and instead use an online platform to host such information.
“With the stroke of a pen the government could have wiped out the requirement to publish public notices in our local newspapers,” Ms Sheed said.
Mr Andrews said thanks to the advocacy of Ms Sheed and others the government would make an amendment to the Regulatory Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill 2021.
The amendment will retain the requirement to publish public notices in regional newspapers. This will ensure the government notices required under legislation such as those relating to permits, approvals, licenses, and many other matters will continue to be published.
Ms Sheed said the move by the Labor Government proved the effectiveness of independents in the Victorian Parliament and gave credit to the premier for listening to important regional issues.
“The continuing loss of advertising has contributed to the closure of many newspapers and if this bill passed unamended, it could have been the last straw for many more.”
“It is vital that public notices are accessible to everyone, especially in regional areas where such notices can have great impact on the community.”