Regional newspaper publishers from across Queensland descended on the state’s capital to discuss the industry and celebrate the achievements of member newspapers at the 110th Queensland Country Press Association (QCPA) AGM and Newspaper Excellence Awards on Friday (June 8).

Delegates from as far as Atherton, Longreach, Sunshine Coast, Roma and Warwick made the trip to South East Queensland to attend the annual general meeting, conference and awards function.

At the AGM, Samantha Wantling (Stanthorpe Border Post) was elected President with Phill Le Peitit (Noosa Today) elected her deputy. The elected Executive Committee consists of Ann Lomas, Heatley Gilmore, Mark Hodgson, Erika Brayshaw, Bruce Horrocks, Ted Rogers and Col Jackson with Greg Watson continuing in his role as Secretary/Treasurer.


The conference included a presentation on Australia’s consumers’ trust in media by NewsMediaWorks Marketing Director Charlie Murdoch, Media Super update by Steven Gardener, Country Press Australia update by Executive Director Bruce Morgan and a State Government Advertising presentation by MediaCom Brisbane General Manager Katherine Williams and MediaCom Australia and New Zealand CEO Willie Pang.

A highlight of the conference was a forum and panel discussion on issues and opportunities in Regional Queensland. Panel guests included the Leader of the Opposition and State Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, Federal Minister for Regional Development and Federal Member for Groom Dr John McVeigh and well-known innovation and regional Queensland advocate Everald Compton AM. The forum was mediated by NewsCorp General Manager for Queensland and Northern Territory Regionals Simon Irwin.

Topics covered in the forum included improving health and education services to attract professionals into the bush and encourage them to stay there, the need for innovation projects to reduce unemployment in the regions, decentralisation and the need for significant investment in both the state’s water and transport networks.

The Newspaper Excellence Awards Presentation Dinner celebrated the achievements of regional media professionals with special guest, the Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industries, Development and Fisheries Mark Furner, representing the Premier Annastascia Palaszczuk, on hand to assist with the presentation of awards. Whilst attending the awards, Mr Furner took the opportunity to announce the Queensland Government’s pledge for a further $5 million in funding over two years for wild dog exclusion cluster fencing in western and southern Queensland.