THIS week in Parliament we are due to debate the government’s hastily-announced media reforms. The Coalition will furiously oppose any attempt to impose additional regulations on the media.
These proposed changes are purely an attack on freedom of speech and have already been condemned by major Australian media outlets.
After more than two years and two lengthy reviews all we’ve got is a dictatorship-style control of information.
These changes are so dangerous, giving the government a power it should never have, the power to determine the content of the press. Essentially, the government must be held to account and this one just doesn’t want to be.
This ‘take it or leave it’ attitude is becoming very typical for Labor and the demand by the Communications Minister for this legislation to be passed next week is ludicrous.
The reforms are set to increase the policing of the media industry, as well as approve mergers and acquisitions and oversee the existing press councils. We already have laws to do this! It’s just a way for the government to punish media outlets they don’t like.
Parkes Star Hotel turns 100
The Star Hotel in Parkes is turning 100 on March 19 and I was on board to help the iconic watering hole celebrate on Saturday evening by unveiling a plaque and tasting a quiet ale.
The friendly pub is well known to locals and travellers from all over. The original licence to trade was granted on March 19, 1913 to a Mr JF Nicholas. He would become the first of 44 licensees to run the Star Hotel over the 100-year period, which is quite remarkable.
The Star Hotel is truly local – it was built using special blocks made in a mould by the great grandfather of local resident, Bob Cocks. It was a grand old design with big balconies and verandahs. The hotel has undergone many changes over its lifespan – a major fire in 2002 led to it being refurbished to its current state.
Seniors have their week
NSW Seniors Week kicked off on Sunday. It was great to join with some of our wonderful seniors in Orange to launch their festivities on Sunday.
The event celebrates the valuable contribution seniors make to our community. Here in Calare, it’s our way of saying thank you to seniors and a great opportunity for all the generations to join with older people to celebrate.
In fact, it’s the largest celebration for people over 60 in the southern hemisphere.
The region is fortunate to have an Ambassador for the NSW Seniors Week in Cudal resident Merle Parrish.
Merle is a true champion baker – she has set records and collected awards for her dominant performances as a competitive producer of cakes, biscuits and scones in shows and fairs all over NSW. She has featured on TV’s high-rating MasterChef and her book of recipes Merle’s Kitchen is a bestseller.
There’s plenty on offer this week and I encourage all those over 60 to get involved. Contact your local Council for more information on what’s happening during the week.