Photo Caption: Member for Parkes Mark Coulton with Gilgandra Weekly newspaper editor, Lucie Peart, in front of the new two-colour printer which was funded under the Federal Coalition Government’s Regional Grant Opportunity.
A Federal Government grant awarded to the Gilgandra Weekly will give the business the boost it needs to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever before.
Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, who visited the Gilgandra Weekly office last week, said he is thrilled the funds have helped the local newspaper to upgrade its technology and enhance its digital presence.
“With a $232,920 grant under the Government’s Regional Grant Opportunity, the Gilgandra Weekly newspaper is investing in new printing equipment that will help take the business to a new level,” Mr Coulton said.
“Rural and regional newspapers are often one of few ways that people in country communities can get their news, so it’s important we all get behind those newspapers to provide the support they need.
“I’m very pleased to see firsthand the newspaper’s new equipment which will help it to remain competitive and progress ahead, despite the challenges that have been thrown its way including the ongoing drought and COVID-19.”
Gilgandra Weekly Editor, Lucie Peart, said the grant has been a game-changer.
“This grant has enabled us to purchase two big-ticket items for our business that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford, so we are very grateful,” Ms Peart said.
“We now have a two-colour printer which will allow us to print pages in full colour, and hopefully we’ll be able to offer that to the other papers that we print as well.
“This printer will also make us more competitive when it comes to colour commercial jobs, which we can now do more quickly and more efficiently.
“We’ve also purchased a guillotine which has been another most welcome investment.
“This ensures that our business can move forward and come out in a better place for our customers and advertisers once the COVID-19 pandemic ends.”
The Gilgandra Weekly is also using part of the grant to enhance its online presence.
• The Regional Grant Opportunity is part of the $60.4 million Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package delivered as part of the Government’s 2017 media sector reforms. Outcomes were announced in late 2019.
• Each application was assessed according to three merit criteria: public interest journalism; editorial policy and complaints handling process; and the quality of the business case. Of the 62 grant recipients, 18 are located in New South Wales.