Issue No. 182 â€“ Thursday, June ne 16 16, 6, 2 2011 01 0 1
Distributed free every Thursday throughout the Riverland
Winter chill sees demand for blankets intensify Story page 4. Page P
Calls for drag strip action
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40 4 Greyhound future concern
After cuts to Anti-Poverty program, local welfare agencies told to expect ...
A LITTLE BIT OF ANGER REPORT BY
BRAD PERRY WELFARE agencies across the Riverland have been told to â€œexpect a little bit of angerâ€? from funding cuts to important Families
SA programs. As of the new financial year, it is understood Families SAâ€™s AntiPoverty program in Berri will discontinue due to State Government funding cuts, mounting further pressure on local welfare groups. In the 2010/11 State Budget, the Sustainable Budget Commis-
sion recommended a cessation of the Anti-Poverty program, retaining the ability to provide integrated social work/financial counselling and keep sufficient staff to provide office reception. However, with funding for the program to end this financial year, welfare agencies have been told to
brace for anger and frustration. â€œThere will be a lot of frustration and probably a lot more people coming to take part in our services,â€? St Vincent de Paul Society Barmera president Sue Whittingham said. â€œAccording to the information we received from Families SA, the state treasurer had to raise $8 mil-
lion and by cutting the services with Families SA, that was one of the ways he was trying to save. â€œWhy would anybody take away from those who desperately need help? â– Continued Page 4
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2 â€˘ Riverland Weekly â€“ Thursday June 16, 2011
View of Pike River, near Paringa, from hot air balloon
Berri Barmera Council business plan meeting THE Berri Barmera Council will consider changes to its annual business plan at its monthly meeting on Tuesday night. Just 10 people attended a public meeting to discuss the plan earlier this month, with submissions closing last Tuesday. Berri Barmera Council chief executive officer David Beaton said he hoped more people would attend the meeting but said, nevertheless, important issues were raised as concerns, including the possible visitor information centre move and councilâ€™s finances. Mr Beaton said changes have been made to the business plan following public consultation in previous years and has not ruled out similar happening again.
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Fruit fly roadblock figures alarming THE figures from the weekendâ€™s fruit fly roadblocks into the Riverland provide interesting reading. From a relatively small selection of 326 vehicles coming into the region, 74 were found to have illegal fruit and vegetables. That is a whopping 23 per cent of the cars tested during a relatively short time on Friday and Saturday. It is worrying to think about how many more cars passing through the region over the long weekend actually had fruit fly attracting materials in them. Adding further to the concern about travellers not heeding the fruit fly message is the anecdotal story that around 700 kilograms of fruit were seized by primary industries officials at Yamba over the length of the long weekend. Those figures have not been confirmed but even if only a third of that amount was collected, that is still very concerning. So, what is going wrong with the fruit fly message? Why do people seem to be unaware of the rules regarding fruit fly prior to coming into the region? Why do they ignore the signs as they come into the fruit fly exclusion zone warning them that they will be fined for bringing certain foodstuffs into the region? Primary industries officials have said they do not expect the hauls to result in upgraded compliance measures to be put in place. Also, the State Government cannot afford to put more staffing in place to further ensure compliance. Thankfully, we have not had a fruit fly outbreak in the region for many years but the threat remains. What the weekendâ€™s haul clearly highlights is the importance of full-time operations of the Yamba roadblock. They say charity begins at home; so does vigilance.
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