The ABC’s first-ever media bureau in Hervey Bay, Queensland, serving the Fraser Coast region, was recently launched as part of the corporation’s expansion of its regional and rural services.
Hervey Bay is one of 10 new sites established by the ABC across Australia, along with Charleville in South West Queensland, which was opened last month.
The ABC has recruited 55 regionally-based journalists as a result of commercial deals struck with Facebook and Google in November last year, following the passage of the Federal Government’s News Media Bargaining Code earlier in 2021. The 55 new roles have boosted numbers in existing ABC bureaux as well as establishing the 10 new bureaux, taking the number of ABC employees working outside capital cities to around 600.
The ABC’s new Hervey Bay reporters are Jake Kearnan and Lucy Loram, both of whom grew up in Central Queensland. They have previously worked for ABC Wide Bay as reporters in Bundaberg. Prior to that they honed their skills in other regional and metropolitan ABC locations including ABC North Qld, ABC Sunshine Coast, ABC Brisbane and ABC Capricornia.
ABC’s Wide Bay Chief of Staff, Scott Lamond, welcomed the new bureau to the region, saying it would give the ABC greater capacity to tell the unique stories of the Fraser Coast. “We’ve always loved telling yarns from this amazing region through the ABC Wide Bay team but now we can do it with journalists who are actually living and working in Hervey Bay,” he said.
The ABC’s Managing Director, David Anderson, said the opening of the ABC’s Hervey Bay mini bureau represented a significant boost to its regional services on the Fraser Coast. “We’ve always covered this region but having two journalists who live and work in Hervey Bay will mean we can provide a much broader range of stories from this important part of Queensland. I welcome journalists Jake Kearnan and Lucy Loram to our Fraser Coast team and look forward to hearing the local stories they uncover across all our broadcast platforms.”
The bureau’s opening was marked with a live Breakfast show broadcast from Scarness Jetty, introducing Jake and Lucy to local audiences and supported by the ABC Wide Bay team. The show also featured a live appearance by the ABC’s popular Gardening Australia presenter, Costa Georgiadis.