Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Fortnightly waste collection – letter to the Advertiser by the LGA

Letter submitted to the Advertiser following a misleading article regarding fortnightly waste collection



The Advertiser ran a front page story on Saturday (2/3/13) headed (on its Adelaide Now website) “Adelaide’s suburban Councils push for fortnightly rubbish collection.”
This headline wrongly creates the impression that metropolitan Councils are currently seeking to implement fortnightly collections in opposition to a State regulation requiring weekly landfill collections.
This is simply not the case. The LGA is not aware of one Council considering this issue.
In response to questions submitted by reporter Callie Watson, the LGA advised her verbally on two occasions and via email that the issue was not currently on our agenda.
The email read in part: “The LGA has not tested the issue with metropolitan Councils since the regulation was made (2009) and Councils have not raised the issue with the LGA as a key issue since then.”
This issue was emphasised with reporter Watson as we were concerned to ensure readers understood this is an issue which is likely to come back on the agenda for debate at some point in the future but is not currently being considered.
It seems to me to be fairly fundamental to a newspaper’s role to understand the difference between a topic which is likely to come up for debate at some point in the future and one which is being actively considered – and the difference between individual Mayors, or contractors’ views and those of corporate entities such as “Councils”.
By the number of concerns expressed on Adelaide Now, via social media and by Councillors, your decision to omit this central and emphasised element of our response did confuse and mislead readers to believe this change is currently being considered.
I would like to think that the Advertiser will take responsibility to correct this confusion, perhaps as prominently as the original story, to better inform its readers.

Wendy CampanaCEO, Local Government Association of SAAdelaide

Matches my response from last week in this blog,