Goodbye and Best Wishes

CCO was never solely about covering the Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) but over the past five and a half years it came to seem like that.

By The Editor

In our ‘About Us’ section from Day One we said; “We are here to give an alternative voice to the Coffs Coast and to keep you up to date and involved in our region and our world. What can you do here?  You can interact, propose and agitate.

Then we said; “About once a week we got comments/emails taking us to task for not being “objective.” You would think that the ‘Alternative Voice’ part of our logo might be a clue. But some people don’t get it.

We’re not objective, whatever that is. We don’t believe that it is even possible to write about anything without referencing ones values and worldview. We do, however, try to be honest and we do try to present as many views as possible – even if we don’t personally always agree with them.

Increasingly though that alternative voice found a focus in the ‘going ons’ of the CHCC – both at elected representative and Executive levels.

And to some degree that came to define the timelines around what a not for profit like, volunteer site like CCO did.

Initially the plan was to change after the scheduled September 2020 LGA elections. But, of course, Covid 19 ended up adding 15 months to that timeline so the elections were finally held yesterday.

In that 15 month period much happened. Not the least for me as Editor was the discovery in early June this year that I would need to undertake invasive treatment and soon. And then have a fairly serious operation in October this year.

And after almost 5 1/2 years of largely running day to day a one person operation the decision was made back in June that I would need to take a break from the site for a while once the LGA election was over.

The date identified for that to happen was today, Sunday 5 December.

So it is that today we are going to close CCO until late January 2022 at least so I can focus on my recovery. On site comments will be kept open until 8 December but will close thereafter. The CCO Facebook site will be suspended on the same day.

Then we will consider how, and if, CCO returns.

In the meantime I’d like to thanks our wonderful contributors and readers for making this the vibrant online community it has become. At times it was ‘hard yakka’. But it was overwhelmingly rewarding too.

Best wishes to you all both seasonal and for the future.

9 thoughts on “Goodbye and Best Wishes

  1. A huge effort and community service Grant, far beyond expectation.
    CCO has been a voice for locals and a challenge to everything that needed exposure and has been wrong, particularly in local government.
    Sincerely wish you a speedy recovery back to good health champion!

  2. Grant, you deserve an effin’ medal!

    As a reader of, and sometime contributor to CCO, I need to state my sincere appreciation for your tireless efforts. That those efforts have continued, almost unabated, through a time of personal crisis, speaks volumes of you as a person.

    I must express my personal respect and admiration for you as an editor and as a person, and say that I am hoping that CCO will return, at a time which is suitable to you.

    Here’s to your continually improving health.

  3. While I understand, you and Coffs Coast Outlook will be sadly missed. I have been following Coffs Outlook since the old Hugh Saddleton days and he and you have made me so much more aware and informed me of things in my area that I may not have, without you, fully comprehended. Can imagine how time consuming it all has been and at times frustrating with the hecklers!! Hopefully when you are fully recovered and again hopefully if Coffs Harbour has stabilised, you may re-enter and I get my Coffs Outlook back again. In the meantime, look after yourself and enjoy that extra free time you will gain.

  4. I was born and bred in Coffs Harbour and it is good to get news about what is happening these days. It always sounds like nothing has changed at least for the better. Come back refreshed. Have a merry Christmas and a great New Year.

  5. Well done Grant and Rob! Your insight and exposes have been both revealing and refreshing in a investigative media vacuum dominated by the usual “noisemakers”. You have given all of us with years of experience of Coffs Harbour issues and problems a platform for which we’ll be forever grateful. All the best for the future!

  6. One of the greatest achievements a person can rise to I think is to have what they’ve done lost outwards from themselves, to dissipate in spirit, transform through the ether, and then regather in others’ beings to become ‘owned’ by another.

    It’s this ‘ownership’ that a wide community has felt, individually, over Coffs Coast Outlook that makes its passing sad and hard.

    With its own ideals so pure — an alternative voice,with no advertising — and a work ethic so honourable, for the life of me I couldn’t see how it could be sustained; certainly impossible in the important, relied-upon form it became.

    Even the copy-paste articles, in a moment’s consideration, would have taken a hefty time to get right. I shudder to think of what the highly researched, tight-rope, legally delicate revelatory pieces involved. And these kept on coming.

    An achievement in life, Grant, for which you can long be proud. I hope you do enjoy it for that; take the achievement upon yourself as you go forward personally with a sense of freedom, satisfaction and pleasure.

    The ‘obligation’ that CCO must have felt, I think, would have been heavy. With this notice, the obligation has gone and a refreshed personal life can return. So pleased, indeed, to hear it.

    It’s ending is, too, I think, a time for community reflection. For how can it be replaced? What could take its place?

    A group of volounteers? Four or six months each, committed to the task, at a time? Possibly, yet the fundamental issues of quality and legality remain, which can only fall again to a single person’s shoulders. And those volounteers may be few and, too, overwhelmed.

    A payment system? To make the provision sustainable? Hardly. ‘twould be bus fare, when such fundamental demand requires a professionalism that deserves its rightful salary.

    An article or two once a week? Maybe, yet wouldn’t it lose its power of attraction? It’s well known in publishing that articles have to appear daily to be so attractive. We had several, each day, with one day off. Quite unbelievable, really.

    CCO became the central ‘Fourth Estate’ publisher these last years. TV news locally is by its time constraints incapable of in-depth broadcasting; ‘The Advocate’ is on its own new path, a glimpse over its headlines shows clearly where that editorial choice is going, and shows no signs that its editorial direction will shift.

    So it’s a community problem to solve, and not an individual’s, I think, or at least hope. It’s a media issue that besets communities worldwide in this modern era. There doesn’t seem to be any good answers or else they’d be well known and flourishing.

    The bottom line is that an achievement precisely as Coffs Coast Outlook has long been and in later years become is not sustainable by one person.

    We’ll miss it terribly, and it leaves an empty cavern in community knowledge and participation, and much else, and to one who loves the voice of the people it will be especially hard to see it go. But in current form, go it must.

    Incredible gratitude remains that it existed as it did, at all. And good memories.

    Happy days and warm and peaceful nights, and thank you Grant and Rob and team.

    Editor: Many thanks 40c – much appreciated. Our task was always made that bit easier thanks to your thoughtful,analytical yet wonderfully well written contributions. Our hope is that CCO does come back in one of the forms you mention above. But the plan is to hold off until mid-January before giving deep thought to the options – although we do have the germ of an idea to play around with already.

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