For 160 years theIllawarra Mercuryhas been telling local stories that matter to the people of the Illawarra and the South Coast.
We hope that it is able to do that for 170 years. Last Saturday the member for Cunningham and I had the great pleasure of addressing a community rally in Wollongong. It is an unusual event that attracts the support of Labor members of parliament, state and federal, together with Liberal members of parliament from New South Wales, and independent members of the local council. The rally to support theIllawarra Mercury, theWollongongAdvertiserand theLake Timesis such an important cause that it managed to bring together members of those three disparate persuasions. Whether it is stories of mine disasters or celebrations of sporting events, whether it is local stories about a student doing something extraordinary, or whether it is celebrating the effects of community coming together to support a local charity, theIllawarra Mercuryhas been there.
We call on the directors of Fairfax to meet with the local community representatives, including the member for Cunningham and me. There are newspapers out there that will campaign for a political party, but there is no newspaper, except theIllawarra Mercury, that will campaign relentlessly for the Illawarra. It must be saved.