The Tully Times is an institution in the Tully district. Everyone reads it to find out what is going on. It is a privately owned independent newspaper. It has always had a reputation for straight-talking, uncompromising journalism. It has always run stories about issues not covered by other newspapers.
John had worked at country newspapers for many years such as the Parkes Champion-Post in New South Wales, the Longreach Leader here in Queensland and finally the Tully Times. John Hughes came to Tully over a decade ago, first to edit the newspaper and then purchasing it in December 2005. For more than a decade he delivered to the local community a robust, thought-provoking local newspaper and he was proud of it. He invested in Tully, firstly in the Tully Times, and then in other businesses.
John Hughes was an unrelenting advocate for the local community. He certainly used the Tully Times to further this advocacy. It is no secret that on more than one occasion John used his newspaper to provide his readers with a full and frank assessment of my position on certain issues when it differed from his own. While this situation was not always to my benefit, the community has never been under any misunderstandings about John's unvarnished opinion.
John Hughes had determination and he donated his time generously. He was the driving force behind Tully's Golden Gumboot Festival. He was a strong supporter for many years of Tully's Chamber of Commerce, paid a lot of attention to the activities of the Tully Support Centre and was a passionate supporter of the Tully Tigers Rugby League football club.
I offer my condolences to John's family and to the staff of the Tully Times. I acknowledge his legacy as an independent journalist and his contribution to the Tully community. - Andrew Cripps MP