The Hon. Tammy Franks, on 18 March, introduced a private member's motion:
That this council notes—
1. The immense contribution of The National Indigenous Times as a powerful voice for Australia's First Peoples;
2. The investment made by the founders of The National Indigenous Times, John and Beverley Rowsthorne;
3. The National Indigenous Times' record as Australia's most awarded Indigenous publication, including a Walkley Award for Indigenous coverage in 2005; and
4. The sad departure of the newspaper from the media landscape following an announcement that its parent company, Destiny Publications, had gone into voluntary administration in January and the subsequent closure of the newspaper in February 2015.
Earlier this year, it had been reported in the media that The National Indigenous Times had been put into administration and placed for sale. The ABC reported that the paper went into administration because of increasing legal bills as a result of actions brought against it, unpaid creditors and other legal matters, including a long-running unfair dismissal case and an undisclosed defamation matter.
Although the future of the paper at this stage remains sort of unclear, it is one of the main publications comprehensively covering Indigenous affairs issues throughout the nation. It certainly was a voice that I am sure championed the rights of Indigenous people. It will certainly be sorely missed, but, sadly, it is not an isolated case.
Just recently, a number of excellent publications that serviced rural and regional South Australia have bitten the dust or heavily reduced their local content and frequency of publication, so I am not sure that this is just particular to an Indigenous newspaper. I think it is a bit of a sign of the times with regard to hard copy publications which, sadly, I miss because it might be all right for the younger generation, but I still like my hard copy publication.
Thanks, the Hon. Kelly Vincent, you are very kind to me. With those few words, I note the Hon. Tammy Franks's motion and on behalf of the Liberal Party we support the motion and notice, sadly, the demise of The National Indigenous Times.