Daniel Andrews

Victorian Government needs to be accountable

Daniel Andrews
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews. Photo: The Age

As a Victorian born and bred I’m really frustrated at what’s happening in my home state with massive lockdowns and a night curfew.

Why is Victoria the only state experiencing this?

There’s currently an inquiry under way, which will hopefully give some of the answers, but evidence so far suggests there’s been high community transmission of COVID-19 from bungled hotel quarantine security.

People who know me well realise that I’m not party political. I’m pragmatic. I’ve worked on both sides of the political fence and treat issues on their merits.

The fundamental purpose of state and territory governments is to keep their citizens safe. That requires having effective police and health services.

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regional newspapers

Demise of newspapers not all doom and gloom

regional newspapers
The Centralian Advocate in Alice Springs is among dozens of News Corp publications which will become digital only.

The decision by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to transition dozens of regional newspapers to digital only was saddening but came as no surprise.

Among them are the NewsMail in Bundaberg and the Centralian Advocate in Alice Springs.

I was managing editor of the Centralian Advocate from 2014-16 in my second stint at the newspaper after going there as a young reporter in 1988.

It was still profitable in 2016. We were meeting all our targets for advertising revenue and circulation when bean counters from the east came wielding an axe.

They wanted to reduce staffing levels and proposed changing the distribution arrangements as part of nationwide cost-cutting measures.

Several times over the past 10 years I thought the bottom had been reached in terms of media decline but now I believe there’s still some way to go.

Bayview Hotel, Kensington

Michael Gorey (Gorry)

Bayview Hotel, Kensington
The Bayview Hotel, Kensington, corner of Altona and Tennyson Streets.

Researching family history can be frustrating but today I had a magic breakthrough in relation to my namesake and great-great uncle Michael Gorey (Gorry).

Michael was born at sea aboard the Middlesex on 24 September 1841 just before the ship arrived at Port Phillip on 1 October 1841.

To give some context, the population of Melbourne at that time was fewer than 10,000 people and they were Victorian pioneers.

Michael’s parents were James and Elizabeth (nee Hanlon or Hanley) Gorey from near Thomastown, County Kilkenny in Ireland.

I knew that Michael died at Nagambie, Victoria, on 31 July 1908. The death certificate says he died of a heart attack and it states his mother’s name was Elizabeth Hanley.

That’s important because other records show her surname as Hanlon, which appears to be correct, and the variations have been noted for several decades.

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1939 fire

Tragic 1939 fires remembered

With much of Australia currently ablaze I’m reminded of the terrible 1939 fires which are etched forever in my family’s psychology.

My uncle Michael Gorey was killed on Black Friday, 13 January 1939 at Saxton’s Sawmill, Tanjil Bren, along with Ben and Dorothy Saxton. He was 19 years old.

My father Peter was three years old. He huddled under wet blankets in a paddock at Fumina with his parents and five siblings. They watched their house go up in flames and heard the bellows of their 20 cows, which died in the fire or were later shot.

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media lies

Dealing with media lies

media lies
The media is reluctant to apologise for publishing false information.

If you work in communications there will be times when you need to deal with false statements and lies that have been published or broadcast in the media.

As a former newspaper editor I’m aware that mistakes occur. What galls me is lazy journalism and the deliberate spreading of misinformation.

Sadly there are more instances of this than ever because of declining editorial standards and pressure to publish quickly online.

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