Contrary to rumours circulating in Bingara and Warialda, Council has not bought the Bingara Advocate or the Warialda Standard.
Martin Bower and Wayne Squires, teachers at Warialda High School, and driving forces behind the Gwydir Learning Region, sought approval from the owners of the Standard and Advocate to apply for government funding for the Gwydir Learning Region to purchase the two papers to be structured as a community owned Shire paper where members of the GLR (local residents) can buy shares. The project would create an income stream for the GLR and be used as a training facility for journalism and communication students.
Approval was given by me on the understanding that the application was treated in the strictest confidence. I personally believe the chance of receiving funding is low.
The stakeholders would be the UNE, New England TAFE, Shareholders, Bingara Central School, Warialda High School, Warialda Public School, and Gwydir Shire Council.
Our confidence was respected by key players in the GLR, but sadly, the information fell into the hands of some local people who deliberately chose to misrepresent that information to the detriment of the businesses concerned.
I am not impressed.
Editor, Bingara Advocate