HomeOpinionEditorialCouncil's advertising tender process makes no sense

Council’s advertising tender process makes no sense

Murrindindi Shire established a tender process to set up a panel of selected media advertising providers with two year contracts to provide publication of council news and public notices.

Kinglake Ranges News (published by Geelan Media) was the shire’s first online news site acheiving 744,267 hits [AWStats] this February alone, far exceeding the online audience of any local media competitor online.

In 2019 Kinglake Ranges News has acheived over 1.7 million (1,756,047) hits. Last year Kinglake Ranges News acheived 5.1 million (5,109,296) hits, according to AWStats.

2019-03-11 Website Performance.png
A screenshot of online readership data (Decemeber 2018  to February 2019) from independent site anaylsis company SimilarWeb which uses Google Anayltics to compile its data.

We agree with online (and print) competitor Ash Long, editor of The Local Paper and propietor of Local Media Pty Ltd in an article published about Murrindindi Shire’s media advertising tender process.

“The wording of Murrindindi Council’s tender process for advertising services appears to favour certain media operators in the shire, and to disadvantage others,” Long said.

Kinglake Ranges News is by far the most succesful and widely read online news site in the shire and Long’s Local Paper is by far the highest print circulation newspaper, known in the media industry as ‘eyeballs.’

Despite Kinglake Ranges News having the majority of the online news audience and Long’s Local Paper covering the shire with the highest print readership it appears council’s tender documents seek to maintain the status quo.

The Local Paper print edition (estimated circulation of 14,700 monthly) is distributed to more than 70 outlets thorughout Murrindindi Shire. The Local Paper has the highest print circulation in Murrindindi Shire and Kinglake Ranges News has the highest online readership. Facts.

“Website – only operators [such as Kinglake Ranges News] are unlikely to win selection to the advertising services panel being set up [by] the Council,” Long said.

Kinglake Ranges News has averaged 72 per cent of online readership against competitors whilst Long’s Local Paper leads print circulation in Murrindindi Shire.


  • The Local Paper: 3675
  • The Alexandra Standard: 1534
  • The Yea Chronicle: 547


  • Kinglake Ranges News: 47, 267
  • The Local Paper: 35, 361
  • Alexandra Newspapers Pty Ltd: <1,000

Briefings are being held at council chambers in Alexandra when they could be held anywhere in the shire. Again appearing to favour the incumbent, Alexandra Newspapers Pty Ltd. Other media propietors will be required to travel long distances to Alexandra.

Advertsing is about readership, eyeballs, views, clicks, tuning in. It was surpising to see Murrindindi Shire’s advertsing RFQ weighting readership and reach at only five per cent.

Other similar tenders for advertsing by local councils and seen by Kinglake Ranges News vary between a 20 to 30 per cent weighting of ‘readership and reach.’

Tender documents state that:

“Council is committed to buying from suppliers based in the Shire of Murrindindi and will give preference to these suppliers where their price is within 5 per cent of the highest scoring value for money offer and they have demonstrated that they can meet Council’s requirements with minimal risk.”

Council’s advertising costs for the 2017-18 financial year totalled $138,171 with most advertising placed with Alexandra Newspapers Pty Ltd. The Local Paper and Mountain Monthly also published some council advertising.

Kinglake Ranges News does not publish a print edition. Kinglake Ranges News is free online only and The Local Paper is free both online and in print.

Other local online media have paywalls and charge a cover price of $1.20 for print editions.



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