ADELAIDE’S daily metro is putting its full weight behind the eco-rejuvenation of Australia’s longest river with an extensive community awareness campaign.
It is supporting the troubled Murray River with a “I Love Murray” campaign, which has already included a televised debate on local payTV station SkyNews, plus t-shirt giveaways.
The waterway, which stretches some 3,000km across southern Australia, faces many environmental problems, such as drought and introduced species.
Last week’s Great Murray Debate – a town-hall style meeting between Australian water minister Tony Burke, Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young – featured questions from concerned irrigators, farmers and academics.
The Advertiser’s editor, Melvin Mansell, described the debate, attended by 100 and streamed live on the paper’s website, AdelaideNow, as a “significant moment in the history” of the river.
“I hope that very shortly we will look back and see [the debate] as a great night because it will produce results,” said Mr Mansell.
Footballers, swimmers, comedians and politicians – including prime minster Julia Gillard (pictured)– have all promoted the campaign and worn the free t-shirts.
The campaign features regular updates from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority plan in The Advertiser and AdelaideNow. The continued coverage of the stories of the locals living along the Murray encourages readers to have their say.
“Although we have supported some of the key environmental groups, we haven’t directly aligned ourselves with any one in particular,” senior brand manager for Advertiser Newspapers, Sarah Kipling told News Now.
“There been a really good reaction from the irrigators and farmers who actually work and live in the Murray region, and we’ve had positive feedback from the general public in the form of phone calls and letters to the editor.”