DIGITAL ERA: The Gatton Star has been printing newspapers for 63 years but will be operating online only from June 25. Picture: Ebony Graveur
DIGITAL ERA: The Gatton Star has been printing newspapers for 63 years but will be operating online only from June 25. Picture: Ebony Graveur

‘Disappointed’: Mayor’s comment on closure of local rag

THE announcement the Gatton Star would turn its focus to digital news and cease its print production at the end of June has been met with disappointment from Somerset and Lockyer Valley leaders.

News Corp Australia announced its decision to shut the print side of the 63-year-old paper, along with many other local mastheads throughout regional Queensland towns.

While the change opens doors to new potential for online journalism, the loss of the physical paper marks a significant change for the region.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan said the news was shocking and the loss would be felt throughout the region.

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“We all grew up with it, it’s been a lifeline,” Cr Milligan said.

“I look at our older community, our more vulnerable community and even our businesses who put their advertising and catalogues in it.”

Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan.
Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan.

She said she worried the loss of the physical paper could worsen feelings of isolation in the community.

“At the moment we’re dealing with Covid-19 and people already feel isolated,” she said.

“I think the paper not being on the front lawn anymore is going to further impact how people are feeling.”

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She remembered newspaper clippings on the fridge and said a tradition would be lost.

“When we were young, if us kids were in the local paper (our parents) would cut it out and put it in scrapbooks,” she said.

“Our kids will never have the opportunity to do that.

“I know it’s going to be online, but I’m a bit old school,” she said.

“It’s a huge loss.”

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Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann agreed the news was disappointing but praised the Gatton Star ’s work in the region.

“The Gatton Star has done a fantastic job of getting information out to the residents, especially in times of disaster” Cr Lehmann said.

“It will be sadly missed, that’s for sure.”

Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann.
Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann.

He said the loss of the paper would leave a “big hole” in the community.

“We will have to change the way we get messages out to people,” he said.

“But there are a lot of people out there who don’t have computers and rely on their papers to see what’s going on.”

The final edition of the Gatton Star will be out on June 24.

The final edition of the Laidley Plainland Leader will be out on June 12.

Read more stories by Ebony Graveur.


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