Columns
10 years on Image

10 years on

Melbourne Water moving to Docklands
Read more >>

Away from the desk Image

Away from the desk

The little bent tree
Read more >>

Chamber update Image

Chamber update

COVID-19 and Docklands businesses
Read more >>

Docklander Image

Docklander

A staunch Docklander
Read more >>

Docklands Secrets Image

Docklands Secrets

Conflicting speeds
Read more >>

Chinese

墨尔本市长工作寄语
Read more >>

Owners' Corporation Management

Performance-based alternative solutions the key to cheaper cladding replacement costs
Read more >>

Fashion Image

Fashion

Top five street style trends
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Don’t let working from home compromise your health and wellbeing
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

Bring on the lasers
Read more >>

Business Image

Business

Something fishy from The Espressionist
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

Social distancing in apartment blocks is hard to do, but necessary right now
Read more >>

Maritime

Tyranny of distance?
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Full of Beans!
Read more >>

SkyPad Living Image

SkyPad Living

OC support in a time of COVID-19 - a tale of two cities …
Read more >>

Street Art Image

Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios
Read more >>

Sustainability

How fast is fast fashion?
Read more >>

The District

Eat your way through our most delicious hot spots
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Microorganism dismantles Airbnb - will it ever recover?
Read more >>

Abby's Angle  Image

Abby's Angle

The world is a battlefield. Fight, but without exception, choose kindness
Read more >>

Editions

Fair and equitable would be fine

26 Apr 2016

Fair and equitable would be fine Image

Pictured is the City of Melbourne’s “corporate ad”.

It’s the council’s prime means of communicating with you, but it’s been some time since Docklanders have seen it.

The council spends $145,000 each year publishing its “corporate ad” in four publications – none of which circulate here in Docklands.

On the other hand, the council is happy to pay to have its ad seen outside the municipality in: Abbotsford, Aberfeldie, Alphington, Airport West, Ascot Vale, Avondale Heights, Brunswick, Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Essendon, Fairfield, Fitzroy, Gowanbrae, Keilor East, Keilor Park, Moonee Ponds, Niddrie, Northcote, Oak Park, Preston, Reservoir, Strathmore, Strathmore Heights, Thornbury and Travancore.

The council says the ad is to communicate “upcoming relevant council information to residents and businesses”.

In the example pictured, the council talks about the opening of its new Docklands community hub.  What a pity no one in Docklands saw it.

One of the council’s four selected publications claims to circulate in Docklands.  This is wrong.  But surely the council knows this?  How hard can it be to have an understanding of local newspaper circulation within a municipality?

Are they that far out of touch?

The answer is yes – deliberately.  That’s why the couuncil outsources the “research” to a multi-national, London-based agency – which is akin to using a sledge-hammer to crack a nut.  I doubt that we were even considered by this agency and the council refuses to (because it can’t?) provide evidence to the contrary.

Some years ago, the council distanced itself from its media buying to avoid embarrassment for its support for the then-monthly publications of Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley.

It was in one of her publications that Docklanders would have last seen the council “corporate ad”.

Readers will have worked out by now that this story is a whinge because my publications have been consistently overlooked for this council spend.

My preference would have been to meet with the relevant council officer to explain the situation.  This request was rejected.  Instead, an attempted justification of the present situation was provided several weeks later.

I’d heard the incorrect claim of duplication of readership in the past, but this time there was the added claim that my publications were unsuitable because of their monthly publishing schedule.  This effectively closes the door on Docklanders ever seeing the council’s “corporate ad”.

It’s worth noting that Cr Riley’s council-supported monthly publications are now defunct.

I have three publications and, between them, they serve nearly half of the City of Melbourne’s 128,963 residents.  The ABS estimates that there are 60,496 people living in the CBD, Southbank and Docklands (33,433 in the CBD; 18,192 in Southbank and 8871 in Docklands).

To be fair, there is some duplication of readership in the CBD.  But there are no other publications circulating in Docklands and Southbank.

This month in my CBD News, I report on an instance which shows that the City of Melbourne doesn’t mind paying big money when asked by big media players.

In December, behind closed doors, it ignored its officers’ advice to refuse a charity request from a private company run out of the Herald-Sun for $230,000 in sponsorship.  

I mention this to illustrate that the council is happy to override officers’ recommendations when it suits them. On other occasions, it can piously find reasons why it is inappropriate to even talk about things believed to be the remit of officers.

At the February 16 Future Melbourne Committee meeting, a residential councillor wanted to talk about the value of including CBD News, Southbank Local News and Docklands News in the council’s campaign to publicise this year’s elections.

The Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, closed him down saying: “I think we’ve got to be very, very careful here. Councillors have never involved themselves with decisions around how that information is to be disseminated through the media.  And, the moment we do, I think that is fraught with governance danger – that we would involve ourselves in decisions about where the media spend should be,” Cr Doyle said.

I am not a charity and I don’t seek special treatment.

Fair and equitable would be fine.

Share on Facebook

Stay in touch with Docklands. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Docklands News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.