The Grapevine is the only full-colour, glossy publication on the Central Coast of NSW that publishes in-depth news that affects the local community.


When Alan Hayes launched the Grapevine in 2003, it was to fill a need for the rural community of Wyong Shire – to keep them informed of the news that affected them, because there wasn’t any other mainstream print media servicing the district west of the M1 Motorway.


The first edition of the Grapevine, then known as the Rural Grapevine, was a very basic and plain publication – twelve pages and entirely printed in black and white. It was a publication that wasn’t intended to be born but arose out of a need to inform the Wyong valley communities of an issue with the then Wyong Council and about the proposed coal mining by BHP Billion in the valley district.


When the second issue of the Rural Grapevine was published one month later, it proudly presented itself with a glossy colour cover - it had some locals commenting that the Grapevine “has gone upmarket”. Eventually, it grew into a full-colour, glossy-magazine-style publication that is familiar today - the Grapevine Community News, which distributes in both the the rural and urban areas of the Central Coast.



Publication of the Grapevine was timely for the rural folks of Wyong, because soon after its birth the Dooralong and Yarramalong Valleys had a mining company, Sydney Gas, arrive on their doorstep, who was intent of destroying the area by extracting coal seam gas with 700 gas wells. A process that would have obliterated the Central Coast’s major drinking water catchment district. The Grapevine was there to keep the community informed and to champion their fight to preserve the Central Coast’s most precious asset – its water.


The fight against Sydney Gas, with the Grapevine and Alan Hayes at the helm, was won and the water catchment district of the valleys and the hills beyond was excised, through legislation, from the Petroleum Exploration lease. It was a victory that had corks popping and champagne flowing.


No sooner was the Coal Seam Gas fight won, a new battle was looming! In 2006, the South Korean Government-owned coal mining giant KORES, who had bought the mining lease from the previous coal mining proponents, BHP-Biliton, decided it would seek to gain approval to mine coal from beneath the same area. Again the Rural Grapevine again became the war journal of the people. A ‘war journal’ that was unrelenting in its attack on the South Korean mining company; a newspaper that was there to ensure that ‘Coasties’ knew what the mining company’s plans were.




The South Korean longwall coal mining threat in 2006 heralded the birth of the the Village Grapevine. A full-colour, glossy publication from its inception, it was launched into the suburban area of the Central Coast to inform those people, too, of the devastating impact a coal mine would have on their water catchment area.


The community group, the Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) was formed and again Alan Hayes, along with the Grapevine, led the fight to protect the major drinking water catchment of the the Central Coast. The people's ‘war journal’ was merciless in exposing the truth about the proposed South Korean's coal mining plans - it was a newspaper that was there for them and to ensure that they had a platform from which to do battle.



By 2021 the coal threat had become a distant memory but the Grapevine has continued to champion the rights of the people - the impacts of climate change; inappropriate developments; Council Administration; the impact of coal ash dams on human health in the northern suburbs of the Central Coast and the impact of air pollution from coal-fired powered generation. It persists in holding our elected representatives accountable, and continues to publish nothing less than cutting-edge journalism - exposing the truth without fear or favour. Why? Because it is the right thing to do and the community have the right to know!


From its humble beginnings, the Grapevine has always advocated for those issues that affect the community – ferreting out the truth and supporting the people’s right to know. so, in 2021 the Grapevine spread its wings and the online digital edition was launched – publishing each Wednesday to keep the entire region up to date with the ‘news that matters’.


The weekly online edition of the Grapevine updates as the news happens, providing the people with local news, events and information on what’s happening in the local community and exposing the truth by scratching beneath the surface. It also provides a cross-selection of community interest and views.




The Grapevine has become an award-winning publication because of it's grass-roots community engagement and in its involvement in helping to drive community campaigns to protect the Central Coast from those who would see the region destroyed for their self-serving agendas.


The Grapevine and it publisher Alan Hayes have received ongoing recognition for its community involvement and keeping the people informed. As a result of this continual commitment in the victory to stop methane gas mining and coal mining in the water catchment district of the Central Coast the Grapevine and its publisher Alan Hayes have been cited four times, receiving awards for tenacity to unite the people - Alan Hayes was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his commitment to the coal fight.


Most recently, on its twenty-year anniversary, the Grapevine was acknowledged on the 20th September 2023 by the 58th NSW State Parliament and the Minister for the Central Coast, David Harris MP, who spoke about the Grapevine's achievements over the years. The Grapevine received a gold-embossed parchment certificate - an extract of Mr Harris’ speech, which is now recorded in the Government Hansard for prosperity.


For publisher and Managing Editor Alan Hayes, it’s been a journey of passion; a journey that has evolved beyond what he could ever have imagined back in 2003 when the first edition of the Grapevine was published. A journey that was only possible because of those people who believed in the Grapevine and because of those people and businesses who supported it. A journey that was also supported and achieved with the help and belief of his wife Judith; a journey that now embraces three generations of the Hayes family as the Grapevine moves forward into the future.


The Grapevine will continue to bring to the people of the Central Coast the 'news that matters' - exposing the truth by flushing out the facts.



Alan Hayes, who was awarded the Order of Australia medal for his service to the Central Coast community, for service to the protection and preservation of the natural environment and to the environment as an author, has been a writer and journalist for more than 30 years. Now widely known to Australians and internationally through his It’s So Natural writings, he has published more than 38 best-selling books on herbs, health and natural alternatives, and his wide range of best-selling books shares his down-to-earth and practical knowledge about natural living. He is totally committed to recycling, healthy living and utilising natural resources, and his philosophy works three ways: do-it-yourself, save the planet, and save money too.


Alan grows his own vegetables and fruit, recycles all sorts of material, and makes his own household products, too, from natural materials that are as effective as the harsher chemicals in commercial products.


Although the demands on his time are great, Alan tends his garden daily, producing a constant supply of fresh herbs, vegetables and fruit for his family, and preserving any surplus.


His home is totally sustainable and carbon-neutral and is heated or cooled by the sun passing across the sky. He harvests and stores his own water and all his energy needs are produced and stored on-site, too - his home produces sufficient power to charge the electric car. Alan and his wife live the lifestyle that they encourage other people to do.


Alan is now recognised as Australasia's best-known exponent of the natural lifestyle and the guru of herbal lore. He has appeared regularly over the years on a number of high rating national television programmes as their natural alternatives expert, speaking on and demonstrating the versatility of herbs for natural products.


Alan also writes an international weekly newspaper column and magazine column, entitled It's So Natural, that has continually published for more than thirty-four years.


The print edition of the Grapevine Community News is published at the beginning of each month and circulates throughout the suburban area and rural districts of the Central Coast and is also published online as an e-book, identical to the print version.


The suburban edition publishes on the Friday before the first full week of the month and is available FREE of charge from newsagents, selected supermarkets, registered clubs, shopping centres, local corner stores and numerous other outlets where people visit and gather.


In the rural districts of the Central Coast, the Grapevine is delivered FREE of charge into every mailbox west of the M1 Motorway and publishes on the first full week of each month.


The weekly online edition of the Grapevine publishes every Wednesday and subscribers receive early morning notification upon publication. Subscription to the Grapevine is FREE and guarantees that you are keep up to date with news and events.


Combined, the Grapevine Community News and the Grapevine News Weekly is now the largest published news platform on the Central Coast.


The weekly digital edition not only has local subscribers but subscriptions from Newcastle and Sydney and around Australia and in the United Kingdom and the United States of America.


Local business have realised that the Grapevine, both in print and online, is an effective means by which to promote their business - the reason why the Grapevine is so well supported.