The Sydney Star Observer cover story from two weeks ago, New Chance for Last State -“ Ground Shifts on Age of Consent was faxed to news rooms across New South Wales the day after John Brogden won the leadership of the state Liberal Party.
This week, representatives from news outlets in Bathurst, Wagga Wagga, Tweed Heads, Dubbo, Griffith, Armidale, Mudgee, Narrandera, West Wyalong and Bourke told the Star that they had received a copy of the fax. However, all of them said they had not picked up on the story of Brogden’s views on the age of consent as they considered it to have no local relevance.
The fax would appear to have come through without a return fax number at the top of the page, although a number of journalists from the regional newspapers told the Star that the faxed article was annotated with a short paragraph with words to the effect of: The gay community welcomes the election of new Liberal leader John Brogden.
Although no media outlets appear to have made use of the Brogden/age of consent story, one political commentator who spoke to the Star this week said that the sender of the fax may not necessarily have intended for the story to be picked up. The fax may have been sent out, the commentator suggested, merely to build up a perception that Brogden did not share country values.