Funding boost for Cooloola Coast news

A government grant will support the provision of local news on the Cooloola Coast, with Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien announcing a $10,000 boost for the Cooloola Bay Bulletin.

Mr O’Brien said the Cooloola Bay Bulletin would receive funding through the Morrison Government’s $50 million Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program, which is providing much needed support to regional television, newspaper and radio outlets during COVID-19.

“This $10,000 grant will help the Cooloola Bay Bulletin continue serving the Cooloola Coast by providing reliable news and information, and I am pleased it was one of 107 regional news outlets across the country which will receive funding through the PING program,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Cooloola Bay Bulletin keeps our communities informed and connected with local news, which is especially important for people living in the Cooloola Coast as the big city papers often do not cover local current affairs.”

The funding can be used to support a broad range of activities such as staff wages, training and technology upgrades to allow the recipients to keep delivering important news services in regional and rural communities.

The program will deliver $20 million for television, $12 million for radio and $18 million for publishing all across regional Australia, with the majority of the publishers receiving grants operating as small‑to‑medium businesses.

The PING program is just one of the relief measures the Government is providing to support the media industry during COVID-19.

Other measures include $50 million for a Temporary Interruption Fund to support local film and television producers to recommence filming, $41 million spectrum tax relief for 12-months for commercial television and radio broadcasters, $5 million for the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund and temporary emergency suspension of content quotas for 2020.

Applications were considered through a demand-driven process, meaning that organisations which satisfied the eligibility criteria, including the production and distribution of public interest journalism in regional Australia, were eligible for funding.