Forget Packer and
Murdoch – Mount Gambier’s very own media tycoon Alan Scott knows all
about wielding poltical power. And yesterday he wielded it by standing
down the editor of his paper The Border Watch.

Frank Morello has been stood down until after Saturday’s SA state election following a Border Watch editorial critical of struggling Liberal Party candidate Peter Gandolfi.

Gandolfi
took out an ad saying there were more 600 more operations at the local
hospital under the previous Liberal government. The editorial labelled
this and other statements as “ cheap blows”.

The paper’s chief
of staff Lechelle Earl has apparently resigned in protest at Scott’s
decision, and Morello’s long term future apparently now hinges on a
board meeting today.

But the man who the issue is centred around
is bewildered. Peter Gandolfi, who is facing an uphill battle to beat
incumbent Independent MP and Labor government minister Rory McEwan,
says he’s never had an issue with the editor’s views.

“I saw him
(Morello) for three seconds on Sunday and there was no mention of it
and I wasn’t aware of anything until after when the media approached
me. I get on very well with him,” he told Crikey this morning.

Alan Scott was in meetings all day but sent a message saying Crikey should contact The Border Watch Manager Tim Lewis. He was in a meeting and so far unable to return our call.

Peter Fray

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