Fairfax Media has announced the relaunch of past-masthead National Times as an online version only.

Set for an August unveiling, nationaltimes.com.au will present Fairfax’s major political, policy and current affairs discussions in one place. Fairfax said it represented a significant journalistic expansion by the company.

In an effort to enable readers to participate, nationaltimes.com.au will include many interactive features. Fairfax Digital CEO, Jack Matthews, elaborated:

“We are committed to developing a dynamic and intelligent site that gives people a platform to participate in and enrich the national discussion.”

Matthews continued, saying The National Times was synonymous with thought provoking and intelligent journalism. He said that it informed and encouraged debate on important issues of the day and that that will be the commitment of the site.

The masthead has a significant pedigree; the print version (1971-1986) prompted several Royal Commissions. The paper published documents from the Costigan Royal Commission, accusing Kerry Packer of involvement in drug trafficking, pornography, fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. In a nod to this reputation, the online incarnation will feature a “Goanna” column, Kerry Packer’s codename in the paper.

In addition, nationaltimes.com.au will be published on smh.com.au, brisbanetimes.com.au and watoday.com.au.