Uninformed comment

NOT IMPRESSED: Ceduna District Council Mayor Allan Suter has responded to The Advertiser's article painting Ceduna as a community with big problems and no one to fix them.
NOT IMPRESSED: Ceduna District Council Mayor Allan Suter has responded to The Advertiser's article painting Ceduna as a community with big problems and no one to fix them.

CEDUNA'S mayor has responded to a recent article by The Advertiser's political editor, labelling it "a disgraceful example of sensationalism and an irresponsible piece of journalism."

On Saturday, July 11, the story written by Tory Shepherd 'So drunk, 10-year-old needs resuscitating' was printed by The Advertiser much to the disgrace of Ceduna mayor Allan Suter.

The article by Ms Shepherd, was in reference to the council's 2014 submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs.

In April last year, the council and influential Aboriginal community members were given the opportunity to provide evidence to a report that aimed to find solutions and identify problems in remote communities across Australia.

However, in May 2015, the opportunity to supply a current submission was granted given the positive inroads made within the community and to therefore reflect the current situation.

Mr Suter said the information presented in Ms Shepherd's story was from the 2014 submission, saying it was out-dated and "not reflective of the current situation".

"Tory chose to ignore the current updated version of evidence and she has completely failed to recognise our progress with the issues," Mr Suter said.

"Not only is her story factually incorrect and insulting to the council, but also to our community and Aboriginal communities," he said.

The official report was recently delivered to Parliament and this ultimately sparked Ms Shepherd's interest in the issues at hand in Ceduna.

Mr Suter said Ms Shepherd failed to contact the council or any community members for up-to-date quotes, saying quotes obtained from Ceduna District Council chief executive officer Geoffrey Moffatt were not factual or current.

"Absolutely no facts at all, just a hysterical headline wanting a reaction," Mr Suter said.

"The nonsense about the 10-year-old boy needing resuscitating has come from an Adelaide health organisation, however not one person in the health system has any knowledge of it," he said.

The council has been working with Aboriginal communities for more than 20 years and Mr Suter said Ms Shepherd's lecturing had the potential to inflict long-term damage to vital relationships.

"Her sensationalism of the issues at hand have a real potential to cause damage to the long-standing relationships built with local Aboriginal communities," he said.

"We are beginning to make steady progress to better outcomes for everyone in the community, we have implemented initiatives which are considered to be among the most proactive and effective programs of this type."

Ms Shepherd's story was followed on by Bryan Littlely's opinion piece in last Wednesday's Advertiser, once again "failing to present a factual account of the situation in Ceduna".

"Neither story has any merit, Mr Littlely spent a few years in Alice Springs and all of a sudden he is an expert."

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