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August 10, 2022

‘I hope you win again’: Senior Tiser reporter backs Verschoor

In unusual scenes in the Adelaide Town Hall's council meeting room last night, one of the state's most senior journalists declared his support for Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor's re-election.

  • Words: Angela Skujins
  • Main image: Adelaide Town Hall (by Chelsea Chieng)

The Advertiser’s new Education Editor Colin James appeared in the public meeting room at Adelaide Town Hall last night where he declared he was hopeful the city’s current Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor would be successfully re-elected.

The statement was made in the break of the current council’s final meeting before it enters the caretaker period ahead of the upcoming local government elections.

“As for you, I hope you win again,” James said, while pointing to Verschoor.

You’re trying to cook it up or someone at InDaily is telling you to do this.
—Colin James

James spent the past three years covering local government and urban affairs in South Australia at the News Corp newspaper before being appointed The Advertiser’Education Editor in July.

He covered the city council extensively during recent years and the Adelaide City Council specifically for the last 18 months.

The political remark occurred at the tail-end of the veteran reporter’s longer speech thanking council administration staff and the “very capable” CEO Clare Mockler for the team’s hard work over the last four years.

CityMag was present for the final two minutes of the speech, which was made on the floor of the council chamber between elected members’ desks and tables.

The speech was made in the presence of approximately six staff members, Verschoor and CityMag.

The audio and visual recording of the meeting was suspended due to elected members going on break.

“I know it’s hard for you guys but you do a great job,” James told the administration staff.

“I don’t think your work is recognised enough.”

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor. This picture: Angela Skujins


This morning the Walkley Award-winning journalist – whose career spans more than 30 years – defended his public support for the potential political candidate, saying this was his “personal opinion” and it was part of a “private conversation”.

“I think it’s quite rude for you to be reporting it,” he told CityMag.

“It’s hardly ethical for you to be reporting private conversations.

“It’s not me publicly declaring support for Sandy Verschoor. It’s a private conversation.

“You’re trying to cook it up or someone at InDaily is telling you to do this.


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“That was a private remark I made to her because I’m not covering that council anymore.”

InDaily is CityMag‘s sister news publication.

CityMag approached Verschoor and The Advertiser for comment.

CityMag is reporting the comments in the public interest. The remarks were made in a public place in front of a working journalist and council staff.

Incumbent Verschoor has not publicly announced her candidacy to run for Lord Mayor, however former South Australian senator and self-anointed “Transparency Warrior” Rex Patrick declared his intent to run on Monday.

Voting packs for the Adelaide City Council election will be mailed out between October 14 and October 20.

Voting will close on November 10 and the count will begin on Saturday, November 12.

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