Sporting tax thwarted 1/12/2016

It is tricky to explain the workings of a local council to newspaper readers when the issue is complex and councillors are deciding how to vote.

From The Great Southern Weekender, Thursday, December 1, 2016 p1 and 2.

From The Great Southern Weekender, Thursday, December 1, 2016 p1 and 2.

I think I was able to pull it off this time.X01ALB_002P

However this was not the end of the matter. One councillor decided to table a motion at the next meeting to reverse the decision, which is having an effect on the conduct of the current State Election. I will post the story when time permits.

 

Authorities unlikely to get any fire restitution 11/8/2016

This is an example of a story lead changing right on deadline.

X11ALB_003P

I had written about a judgement made against a young man who had started a bushfire and was ordered to pay a six-figure sum in damages.

I interviewed the fire control officer who was pleased with this result.

My editor had already put the story “on the page” when the man’s lawyer contacted me telling me his client could not be jailed for non-payment as it was a civil matter.

From The Great Southern Weekender Thursday, August 11, 2016.

Job creation and ‘rural smells’: two piggery tales – 14/4/2016 and 10/3/2016

PLANTAGENET Shire has approved two free-range piggeries in two months, despite neighbours’ objections on environmental and amenities grounds.

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

I love development stories because hardly anyone else does them.

Council minutes and agendas can make them appear so dull, yet to someone, somewhere, someone is planning to dig, build or change something right beside the places they live, work or otherwise value.

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

This is not boring for them and if we don’t give them good information as readers we don’t deserve to be their chosen newspaper.

If a similar story comes up a second time, the challenge then is to see what is new about it, and tell the story afresh.

From The Great Southern Weekender

City claims success with targeted burns 7/04/2016

TEXT AND PICTURE BY GEOFF VIVIAN

Having just been through the disatrous bushfires at Yarloop and Wooroona and the catastrophic Esperance fire, many Western Australians are demanding to know what is being done.

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

I would not usually go into such detail about fire control in a local paper but my editor agreed that people were in the mood to read this right now.

All through winter a prescribed burning program is reducing fuel loads in areas of bush, while giving wildlife a reasonable chance to escape to nearby intact habitat.

This is an account of a well-planned burn, how it worked and why.

I was really pleased with the pic too – nothing flash but I trust it conveyed the idea of “business as usual” burning rather than firefighting.

Great Southern Weekender April 7, 2016 p5.

New resignation changes balance 11/2/2016

Another Denmark councillor resigned this month, changing the notional balance of power.

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

Cr Dawn Pedro had been a long-standing councillor with a commitment to environmental management.

A group of councillors who campaigned with sacked shire engineer Rob Whooley are now in the majority.

However a day after Ms Pedro resigned, Cr Whooley found every other councillor voting against him on a motion.

From The Great Southern Weekender.