Public notices removed from regional newspapers

Labor shadow treasurer Stephen Mullighan says the loss of public notices "robs" local communities of information which is vital to them. Photo: Herald archive

Labor shadow treasurer Stephen Mullighan says the loss of public notices "robs" local communities of information which is vital to them. Photo: Herald archive

A decision voted by the Liberal Marshall Government last month to pull public notices from regional newspapers is likely to create ongoing angst and disadvantage SA communities including the Barossa.

Last week the Liberal Government's Statutes Amendment and Repeal (simplify) Bill changed the rules for government advertising, by removing the requirement for public notices to be placed in local newspapers such as the Barossa Herald.

Instead, communities will need to constantly keep tabs on the government's website for public notices that arise.

The move was voted by nine Liberal state MP's, including Schubert MP Stephan Knoll and Stuart MP Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

However, queries put to Mr Knoll's office last week by the Barossa Herald resulted in all questions directed to the state treasurer's office for official comment.

A tweet made by Mr Mullighan following Liberal's decision to remove public notices in regional newspapers.

A tweet made by Mr Mullighan following Liberal's decision to remove public notices in regional newspapers.

Labor, who say they attempted to amend the bill to guarantee the ongoing support, believes the move will be a blow to SA communities. Shadow treasurer Stephen Mullighan says it "robs" local communities of information which is vital to them.

"How many people are likely to regularly check departmental websites?," he said.

"Far more are likely to pick up their local newspaper."

Historically and importantly, public notices have informed communities of forthcoming events such as bushfire danger seasons and community consultations over development applications. It is uncertain if the advertising of polling booth stations prior to state elections will only appear on the department's website.

And while Labor insists it's a "cruel penny-pinching" exercise, Liberals maintain the Bill was first created by Labor.

"Yes, Labor originally put forward a Simplify Bill, which did not progress through Parliament before the last election," a spokesperson for the Shadow Minister's office told Barossa Herald.

"This bill has been introduced by the Liberals and when the impact of these changes on regional newspapers were brought to our attention, we committed to seek amendments to have those changes removed," the spokesperson added.