Sky News rolls out program to keep our region informed
GROWING up and working in country areas from Wollongong to Cairns, Peter Gleeson has seen first-hand the hardships faced by regional Australians.
The fearless media commentator will bring his passion for the regions to a new hour-long program on Sky News in January.
Premiering next month, Sky News Across Australia with Peter Gleeson will combine the resources of Sky News and WIN to explore the big issues facing communities outside of capital areas.
Covering regional affairs is a big passion for Gleeson, who promises to bring a strong news background to the new program.
"It will take in every WIN market from Shepparton to Cairns to Grafton, Coffs Harbour, you name it," Mr Gleeson said.
"It will be very newsy: whatever happens in those regions, we'll be across.
"We'll also have time for panel discussions with politicians to get into some of the meatier issues that affect the regions, like how they're dudded on airfares, the ice scourge and drought."
As regional Australia faces crises ranging from water security to health coverage, Mr Gleeson said the show was crucial in "changing the narrative" around what people living in the regions receive from their government.
"People in the bush are the forgotten Australians ... we are seeing regional communities pillaged by governments at the moment," he said.
"They are completely out of synch with the way in which these communities have their own particular battles.
"It's life and death - there are some people taking their lives, particularly farmers who are doing it tough, and that is so sad and tragic.
"Politicians are just paying lip service to the problems in the bush."
Regional news updates, weather forecasts from Sky Weather Channel meteorologists and special features from Sky News reporters across the country will also feature in the program.
Sky News CEO Paul Whittaker said it was more important than ever to ensure there were resources dedicated to news updates and informing regional communities.
WIN Network's Andrew Lancaster said WIN's commitment to local news in regional Australia is unmatched.
"We are proud to be taking that one step further and working with Sky News to create a bespoke one-hour program that will be only about regional Australian issues, weather and keeping conversations going on matters of importance to people in our viewing areas," he said.
Sky News Across Australia with Peter Gleeson premieres on January 27, broadcasting live weeknights at 7pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time on Channel 53 in Northern NSW and Channel 83 across WIN's regional network.