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Why Chronicle office closure is talk of the town

Plans to close down the local office of the Chronicle newspaper and have the reporters work from Chullora have not gone down well in Campbelltown.

In fact it’s been the talk of the town since whispers started late last week that something was afoot.

Federal MP Mike Freelander has started a petition on Facebook calling for the decision to be reversed and he plans to bring the matter up in parliament when politicians return to Canberra on August 7.

Indeed there’s talk of a bigger campaign against the plan coming up to convince News Corp this is the wrong decision.

If the closure of the Bolger Place office (opposite Macarthur Square) goes ahead it will mean Campbelltown will be without a single newspaper office for the first time in decades.

Fairfax Community Newspapers relocated the Advertiser from Queen Street to Narellan Shopping Centre a few years back.

Trust me – this will be a big economic blow for Campbelltown, which has a tradition of producing some great journalists over the years.

Some of them, like Robert Penfold, of Channel 9 and Tony Jones over at the ABC, plus Sean Berry reporting the news on Channel 7 every night, have gone on to bigger and better things after starting their careers right here.

Some of them have stayed here and Mandy Perrin, who’s been Chronicle editor for 24 years, is one of them.

MP Dr Mike Freelander

Petition: MP Dr Mike Freelander

Personally, having worked at the Chronicle both when it was first opened in 1984, and as its editor for seven years, I would be saddened by such a decision.

I know times are tough for print papers but I hope that News Corp can make an effort to see that this is a wonderful newspaper that deserves to operate out of the town that it serves so well.

♦ Frank Ward may no longer live in Campbelltown but his interest in the region is as great as ever.

The 88 year old who lives in Shoal Bay these days is both an avid news reader, online and print, as well as a contributor via letters to the editor or online comment.

He was at it again last week, sending in this report for the benefit of our readers:

“It is a small world.

I was playing golf in the Friday competition and was joined by a young man, Guy Farruga, whose home club is Camden Lakeside.

Guy lives in Kearns Avenue, Kearns and was having a week’s holiday in the Bay.

We were having a pleasant time and were able to talk about how the area was developing.

When we completed the 5th and went to the 6th tee, Guy came to me urgently saying he thought someone in the group playing the 6th fairway had gone down and asked if he could take my golf cart to go urgently to see if he could help.

On arriving Guy found an elderly man down and one of his playing partners trying to do CPR.

Guy took over on phone instructions from Emergency and worked hard, succeeding to gets the man back breathing but it could not be sustained so he kept going until the ambulance arrived 15 minutes later and took over.

Frank Ward

Frank Ward

Unfortunately the paramedics could not improve on Guy’s work and the member passed away.

After the medics took over the shock of the event hit Guy and he became very upset, saying that he tried but could not get the man back.

Our members were full of praise for the way that Guy acquitted himself and that fact that he took so much of concern on himself and I know the wife of the member expressed her thanks for the effort and concern Guy displayed.

I am writing to the Camden Lakeside club captain recounting these details and extending to Guy to be my guest next time he wishes to visit Nelson Bay Golf Club, where I know many more will want to shake his hand.

It is nice to know that despite all the bad publicity for the young in the South West I, like you, know that there are many great citizens like Guy that make us proud of the area we have helped to create. – Frank Ward.

♦ It’s not why we helped out but it was nice of Youth Solutions to go to the trouble of presenting us with this lovely certificate of appreciation pictured below.

The thing a lot of people don’t realise about Youth Solutions is how lucky we are to have them here, because no other part of Sydney has such a great resource for its young people.

A lot of their work, too, goes unnoticed because it’s not glamorous enough to make the news.

Next year Youth Solutions celebrate 30 years of helping local young people make the right choices.

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