Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Council excommunicates the News

THE Derwent Valley Council has announced it will no longer respond to questions from the New Norfolk News.

A council spokesperson said the New Norfolk News website was not a recognised media outlet.

The decision, delivered by telephone to journalist Damian Bester earlier today, follows several recent questions posed to the council by Bester going unanswered. These related to:
  • The length of Margaret Johns' appointment as acting general manager
  • The timeline for the appointment of a deputy general manager
  • Whether the deputy general manager would be appointed in the absence of general manager Greg Winton
  • When the council intended to build a public toilet at Bushy Park which had been funded in three council budgets
The spokesperson said the council would provide responses to Bester's questions if he was reporting for the Mercury or Derwent Valley Gazette, but not otherwise.

Established in 2008, the New Norfolk News has published more than 5300 articles and had 1.95 million page views in the intervening 11 years.

The council has previously requested photos from the New Norfolk News for various purposes, which have been freely provided, while Mayor Ben Shaw uses a New Norfolk News photo for his Facebook cover photo.

The council has been asked to provide its decision in writing.


  1. I think 'Council' may be surprised by how many ratepayers and residents follow this blog, and therefore perhaps consideration should be given to reversing 'Their' decision to NOT engage with this respected journalist. This is a very bad look for any council looking to represent their community and espousing transparency and honesty, my understanding that it was not a whole of council decision.

  2. I think they’ll change their minds.

    Also it appears we have a new Acting (Acting Acting?) General Manager. Doubt we need a Deputy GM if DVC can operate so well with successive temps in the GM’s role; maybe we should get the Mercury to ask for us?

  3. Well, well fancy the DVC being so spiteful! Who actually made this decision? Obviously someone of low intelligence and little grasp of the ability of electronic media to be so widely read and noted. This news blog would be one of the best to keep up-to-date with what's doing around New Norfolk - and the council don't want to be part of this????? What are they hiding???