THE Sentinel-Times is back in print.

Following the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions this week, the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times will be back in print from Tuesday, June 2.

Managing Director Michael Giles said the return to school, some community sports and the improving trade for local business signalled that it was time for the local paper to come out of hibernation.

“The decision to suspend publication of the Sentinel-Times on March 31, 2020 was not an easy one,” Mr Giles said this week.

“But it was made at a time when the COVID-19 curve in Australia was moving dramatically in the wrong direction and health services, including those in the local area, were expressing grave fears about their ability to cope.

“We were also concerned about our staff working in a difficult environment.

“And in line with ‘social distancing’ and ‘stay at home’ rules we wanted to do our bit by taking the news online, as we have done with the free weekly Sentinel-Times Newsletter, which has been very well received.

“We thank our readers, the businesses who have supported this free community services, the two local shires, Bass Coast and South Gippsland, the State and Federal governments and also the local MPs for helping us to continue bringing the news to the region.”

But Mr Giles believes that while the pandemic is an ongoing concern, we’re definitely in a better place to handle it.

“The Australian community and both State and Federal governments have done a great job flattening the curve, giving health services the time to gear up for what may lie ahead,” Mr Giles said.

“This crisis is not over and there will be outbreaks ahead but with the country in much better shape to meet these challenges, we have decided to recommence print publication.”

Staff at the Sentinel-Times will spend the next two weeks preparing for the relaunch of the local paper on Tuesday, June 2 and would like to encourage all local community groups, businesses and individuals to reconnect with ‘The Sentinel’ by sending in their notes, letters, articles and advertisements.

The Sentinel-Times is disappointed to hear about the demise of the Great Southern Star at Leongatha after 130 years serving the community of South Gippsland, but the Sentinel-Times is well placed to fill the breach.

“So, it’s going to be great to be back and we would encourage everyone to look out for their local paper, the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times, when it hits the newsstands in two weeks’ time.”