Can you really adopt local imagery in a news bulletin that has such a unique format/structure without looking weird and inconsistent?
Unlike Sydney or Melbourne where most if not all viewers can identify with their city skyline so it makes sense for Seven or Nine to use a primary backdrop of the city in those markets, the NBN licence area is very diverse ranging from coastal holiday spots to inland towns in the bush. To use the most extreme example, how can you get a single image that viewers in both Tamworth and the Gold Coast can identify with?
Yea, it's really not that hard. Whilst you can not work in an image of every single city and town and landscape in the NBN Broadcast area - you could represent the area nicely and give almost all viewers an image to identify with by doing a Newcastle skyline, Gold Coast skyline, coastal beach image and inland image. Maybe one more. It's really not hard to fuse that together into an opener or imagery on the set in video walls, backdrops and plasmas.
Take a look at this opener and set - representing the entire state of Queensland
ABC News Queensland
These kind of awesome mocks from MattB and Moe give you an idea. They could easily cycle through a few images, adapting the 9 News opener and making just a little longer. Ending on a very generic image like the below - that does feel somewhat to represent the broadcast area.
It would be really awesome, if NBN pre-recorded the opens for the 5 regions (Newcastle live) allowing for totally localized image, a title card "9 News Northern Rivers" "9 News North West" etc - and also allowing for a local story or two to go in the headlines opener.