Issue No. 183 – Thursday, June 23, 2011
Distributed free every Thursday throughout the Riverland
Another visitor centre on the move? The Renmark Paringa er Council is to study whether the local tourism centre would be better suited inn a different location. Story Page 3.
■ IN DISCUSSION: Renmark Paringa Visitor Centre co-ordinator Renata Hawkins and Renmark Paringa Council corporate and community services director Nathan Haynes talk about council’s annual business plan, which includes funds for a feasibility study into the tourist centre’s future. Photo: BRAD PERRY
Tourism plan wait
Schubert’s injury blow
Riverland councils negotiate sharing selected services in a bid to reduce deficit as...
MERGER TALKS REIGNITE REPORT BY
BRAD PERRY DISCUSSIONS involving the three Riverland councils amalgamating as one have been reignited following recent negotiations surrounding
the sharing of selected services. With local councils currently operating under financial debt, they are working collaboratively in a bid to reduce costs for the ratepayer. Councils already share responsibility through the Riverland Regional Waste Management Facility Committee and the Riverland Re-
gional Development Assessment Panel but each are continuing to look at further ways to share services and save funds. “We are looking at cost sharing and resource sharing...to see where we can go,” Loxton Waikerie Council Mayor Leon Stasinowsky said. “There will be some meetings
down the track as to where (services can be merged), say it might be you are snowed under with building applications, so can you share them with another council, which we are already doing now. “Instead of having to go out and put another employee on full time... we can share some time or contract
out to another council.” Berri Barmera Council chief executive officer David Beaton said councils must always be looking at ways to increase the value for ratepayers and the topic of merging to form one council may be a way forward in the future. ■ Continued Page 2
■ The State Government responds to concerns Families SA’s Anti-Poverty program in Berri will no longer operate - Page 4.
2 • Riverland Weekly – Thursday June 23, 2011
Wheat crop near Bugle Hut
Find out more about solar FREE Solar Expos will be held across two council areas early next week. The expos, held at Waikerie Institute (Monday), Loxton Peace Hall (Tuesday) and Renmark Paringa Council Civic Centre (Wednesday) have been designed to help ratepayers reduce their home
electricity bills. “Our councils are keen to promote the use of sustainable energy,” Renmark Paringa Council Mayor Neil Martinson said. Information on all of the government incentives will be available. The expos will operate from 10am and 3pm.
Enter ffor your chance to win at ROSENTHAL MAZDA 8582 3644 LMVD 46
Old Sturt Highway, Berri 8582 3644
Phone 8582 5500 • Fax 8582 5505 • www.riverlandweekly.com.au
Why I live here . . . EDITORIAL BY
Perennial chestnut opened again IT IS a debate that comes up with striking regularity - should the three Riverland councils merge? The debate has again been evoked by councils looking to reduce costs by sharing services. Already councils are sharing a number of services and have been for many years. In today’s Riverland Weekly article, Berri Barmera CEO David Beaton suggests that all avenues of saving ratepayer dollars should be investigated including amalgamations. Local people are no strangers to amalgamations, having seen six local governments reduced to three in the 1990s. So, what would the benefits of a merger be? That must be asked. There has been much debate since the original amalgamations about whether any savings have actually occurred. Mr Beaton suggests that a merger would see a reduction in council chiefs. However, it is probable that additional lesser executives would still need to be employed, possibly negating those cost benefits. And is it worth merging all three councils? Could merging Berri-Barmera and Renmark-Paringa be an option instead? That would leave Loxton Waikerie to continue servicing the vast area already in existence. It is questionable whether parochial Riverlanders would be willing to again put aside historical differences for any of this to occur but with technology, transport and demographics ever changing, it is a discussion that should be had.
‘Zip in to Win’ Competition Fill in your details below, cut out the full advert and return it to the advertiser’s store. Terms and conditions apply, see the public notice section in the Riverland Weekly for more details. SA Lic No T11/470
■ Barmera woman Dara Clayton is looking forward to the Riverland waste facility co-ordinator role. Story page 6.
Name: Address: Phone: