Anti dam campaigners in the Mary River
Anti dam campaigners in the Mary River

Chronicle campaigns a force to be reckoned with

FROM naming and shaming drink-drivers to pushing for improvements to roads across the region and fighting the good fight against the Traveston Dam, the Fraser Coast Chronicle has been prepared to fight for the future of its community.

One of the ingredients that makes a good newspaper great is the willingness to go into bat for the people who make up its readership.

It's never been good enough to simply report on serious or fatal crashes.

Over the years, the Chronicle has fought for better intersections, for road upgrades and for a better Bruce Highway.

Jobs campaigns have been a major focus of the newspaper over the years to help people find work.

A number of horror crashes saw the Chronicle run the Drive to Stay Alive campaign, in which every member of staff, as well as members of the wider community, pledged to do more to stay safe while on the roads, including not speeding and wearing seatbelts.

The future of Maryborough has meant as much to this paper as any politician and any person in the community.

That's why the Mary's Making a Comeback campaign was so celebrated.

It's also why pushing the message to support Maryborough's CBD has been an ongoing focus of the paper.

One of the paper's most important campaigns was the Let's Learn Butchulla series that offered understanding of indigenous people as well as a celebration of the culture of the Butchulla people of the Fraser Coast.

Then-Chronicle editor Nancy Bates and journalist Toni McRae receive the United Nations Promotion of Aboriginal Reconciliation award from veteran ABC journalist Kerry O'Brien. The award was given for the Chronicle's weekly series
Then-Chronicle editor Nancy Bates and journalist Toni McRae receive the United Nations Promotion of Aboriginal Reconciliation award from veteran ABC journalist Kerry O'Brien. The award was given for the Chronicle's weekly series "Let's Learn Butchulla: Hands in Time, Journeying Together". Contributed

The series won a United Nations award and at the time, the words from the elders who had made the series possible were simple: "thanks for making us exist".

The newspaper celebrated victory when it was announced there would be no Traveston Dam after years of concern from community members about the effect it could have on the Mary River and the endangered species it is home to.

WE WON: Fraser Coast residents who fought the Traveston Crossing Dam celebrated in Maryborough at the weekend - but the fun came with a warning.
WE WON: Fraser Coast residents who fought the Traveston Crossing Dam celebrated in Maryborough at the weekend - but the fun came with a warning. Alistair Brightman

After many, many front pages voicing the concerns of its citizens, the newspaper was able to celebrate the victory alongside its community.

The Chronicle has assembled We Care Bags for the homeless, gathered women's sanitary products for Share the Dignity and fought for events.

Deputy editor Jordan Philp and journalist Carlie Walker with donated sanitary pads. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Deputy editor Jordan Philp and journalist Carlie Walker with donated sanitary pads. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

When the PubFest was cancelled several years ago, Facebook pages formed and the community rallied, with the Chronicle behind them, to keep it going.

Pubfest - Titanic effort (L) Pete and Dan Scotney, Tom Ferguson and Sam Scotney run into iceberg Chelsea Anderson.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Pubfest - Titanic effort (L) Pete and Dan Scotney, Tom Ferguson and Sam Scotney run into iceberg Chelsea Anderson.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

The Chronicle led campaigns against violence in our streets and domestic violence.

Cleaning up the scrub to make the foreshore more family-friendly and show off the ocean views was backed by then-mayor Gerard O'Connell.

One of Australia's Prime Ministers, Tony Abbott, even stopped by to help pack a We Care Bag.

While this campaign ran, two homeless people who had been living on the streets were welcomed into the office by then-Chronicle editor Peter Chapman where they were able to have a cup of tea and a shower.

Peter Chapman with one of the bags.Photo: ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN 10h1167
Peter Chapman with one of the bags.Photo: ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN 10h1167 Alistair Brightman

It is estimated about 3000 bags went out in support of the homeless thanks to the initiative.

When former editor Nancy Bates campaigned to make Maryborough RV friendly, the Chronicle was behind her.

The paper also backed her goal of building the Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial, which paid tribute to the first man ashore at Anzac Cove on April 25, 1915 - Maryborough's Duncan Chapman.

On one memorable occasion, the Chronicle polled the public on whether Fraser Coast councillors deserved a pay rise.

Editor Peter Chapman with the case for a no vote for a councillors pay rise.Photo: ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN 10h1801
Editor Peter Chapman with the case for a no vote for a councillors pay rise.Photo: ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN 10h1801 Alistair Brightman

Hundreds of people mailed in their front pages with their answer circled.



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