Issue No. 189 â€“ Thursday, August 4, 2011
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â– CHECKED: Rivapetz Pet Care owner Jenni Trewren is urging prospective pet buyers to do the research and have the animal checked before finalising the sale. Photo: JANE WILSON
Backyard breeders flaunt trust system Page
Riverlanders are being warned to have pets vet checked before purchasing as sellers bypass health checks for a quick buck. Story Page 4.
Plaza fills empty shops
Lifters gear for champs
Riverland representatives meet with the State Government today to discuss...
LEVEE BANK PROBLEM
RIVERLAND representatives will meet with the State Government today to negotiate a solution to the repairs and ownership of Renmarkâ€™s ageing flood levee banks. In what is being described as a negotiation process, Renmark Paringa Council Mayor Neil Martinson, chief executive officer Tony Siviour and Member for Chaffey Tim Whet-
stone will meet with River Murray Minister Paul Caica in Adelaide for a booking of two 15 minute time slots. With much confusion as to whether the State Government has any responsibility to fix the floodbanks, Mr Martinson said it is time for some answers. â€œTheyâ€™ve always told us that the
BRAD PERRY person who owns the land where the floodbank is situated, owns the floodbank but no-one is prepared to put that in writing and thatâ€™s not
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whose jurisdiction those banks lie and whether there are any State or Federal Government funding options to fund the reported $4 million required to repair the banks. Mr Martinson said he hopes a decision about the floodbanks, which were constructed in the 1950s, will be made today. â– Continued Page 4
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good enough,â€? he said. â€œIf thatâ€™s their law or opinion, theyâ€™ve got to put that in writing, otherwise it doesnâ€™t mean anything to anybody. â€œThere is a lot of issues there we really need to clarify.â€? The issues to get aired during the meeting include the ownership and access to the floodbanks and under
2 • Riverland Weekly – Thursday August 4, 2011
Black swans at Salt Creek
Phone 8582 5500 • Fax 8582 5505 • www.riverlandweekly.com.au
Why I live here . . .
Salena settles out of court on dodgy wine labels AN ADELAIDE Hills winery has won a court injunction over Salena Estate, in order to stop the Riverland winery using similar wine labels, city media reported yesterday. Salena has agreed to an outof-court settlement over the incident. Amadio Wines told The Advertiser Salena Estate was undercutting his company’s profits by selling wine at half-price to international markets. “I have heard of it happening to others and I was not that surprised when I first found out, but
when I realised it was being done by another South Australian company I was shocked,” Amadio Wines’ Daniel Amadio said. However, Salena Estate principal Bob Franchitto said he was unaware the labels were similar. “I was approached by a Chinese company to produce these labels,” Mr Franchitto said. “We are changing suppliers so we printed the labels in good faith and the next thing I know, Amadio said I was copying his label, which I was not aware of.”
When buying a pet, who do you trust? THE current economic climate has certainly hit families hard and the rise of electricity prices this week adds further financial burden. However, I find it hard to swallow there are people out there accepting pet giveaways and onselling them to make money. I also find it difficult to digest the fact some of the animals sold by backyard breeders are being raised in squalid conditions. People are cutting costs on the animal’s health, all for the sake of making a cheap dollar. I have recently just purchased a puppy from a private breeder and it was my first time experiencing the process. There is always caution and worry that there is little history of your new pet. This particular breeder was fantastic. She had vet records, feeding advice and let me interact with the puppies on offer for more than an hour. I also had a glimpse of my puppy’s mother and witnessed her temperament. There are so many backyard breeders who are having puppies vet checked and doing all the right things. It is such a pity there are some people out there who are not doing the right thing just to make money. There are ways to mitigate the risk of purchasing an unhealthy puppy or kitten but in the end, it comes down to trust and education by the buyer. My young puppy is extremely healthy and a fantastic pet. Unfortunately, I have heard of too many stories locally where people have purchased pets, become attached to their new friend and just weeks later, have had to put it down. It is a sad tale and generally can be avoided if backyard breeders leave their financial motives behind and think about the health of the animals.
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Donna Langford, Loxton EDITORIAL by
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FURTHER delays in the release of the Murray Darling Basin Plan have been accepted by Riverland communities and irrigators, as long as the outcome is balanced. The plan, which is set to save the Murray Darling Basin, will not be released until October after it was expected to become public this month. South Australian River Communities spokesperson Ben Haslett said the delay is frustrating but if more time is needed to get it right, it will be worthwhile. “There is potential stress there with ongoing delays but if they deliver a plan that is not balanced and well thought out then
that is an even bigger problem than another shorter delay,” he said. “Whilst we want the plan as quickly as we can, we also support making sure it’s a really good, balanced plan. “We will be disappointed, however, if they take this extra time and they don’t deliver a good, balanced plan.” Mr Haslett said Murray Darling Basin Authority chairman Craig Knowles has consulted the local communities and is aware of their needs. “At this stage, I think he has a good working knowledge of the problems and the requirements of the different regions but ultimately we need to see that working knowledge put into a good managed plan.”
The plan’s release has been delayed after a recent meeting with water ministers, where the states were unsure how the plan will be rolled out between 2012 and 2019. Calls from the Opposition for Federal Water Minister Tony Burke to apologise to communities for the delay may not be necessary, according to Mr Haslett. “I don’t think we should rush things but by the same token, if we are taking time, we need to make sure we deliver something much better than what we saw last time.” South Australian Murray Irrigators chair Caren Martin said a delay was not unexpected but adds to the uncertainty for irrigators. “I think the frustration
The Riverland accepts another basin plan delay By BRAD PERRY
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is in the uncertainty and the speculation,” she said. “I think they need to send a message of what their intentions are and where they are heading, even if they don’t get the specifics. “People need to make long term investment decisions.” Mrs Martin said getting the plan right and equal for Basin communities is the outcome required. “We understand we want this process to be done right and all care given to make sure they get their social and economic issues done properly,” she said. “We’re not overly happy about it but if it means they get it right and they do a better job on it then so be it.”
Census due This Tuesday night every household will need to complete the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ census which will give a snapshot of Australia’s current population and the demographic profile of our communities. It is crucial information that ultimately assists governments at all levels to plan for the future. The compulsory census can be completed in paper form or online through the eCensus site at www. census.gov.au
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Thursday August 4, 2011 – Riverland Weekly • 3 ■ BIG CROWD: More than 350 people attended an auction at Loxton packing facility BP Fruits on Tuesday, raising more than $300,000 for liquidators to pay off debts and (inset) the facility’s exterior, which is currently under contract to sell. Photos: JANE WILSON
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Auction exceeds expectations By BRAD PERRY AN AUCTION at Loxton packing company BP Fruits on Tuesday exceeded the expectations of liquidators with around $300,000 raised. In excess of 350 people attended the auction of fruit grading and packing equipment at the Cashmore Avenue property. Of the 140 registered bidders, there were representatives from businesses across Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and locally. The successful auction follows news BP Fruits land and build-
ings are currently under contract, with settlement expected in coming months. Mason Gray Strange auctioneer Andrew Maros said there were a numbe number of growers and farmers
and not so much in citrus, it was more in the olives to market gardeners to avocado people, who were looking in the industry for retrofitting this type of machinery,” he said.
It was interesting to see other industries getting involved. from a wide range of industries at the auction. “It was interesting to see other industries getting involved
The auction exceeded the expectations of liquidator Kennedy & Co, according to Mr Maros.
“It was valued by valuers and we exceeded the valuation of what was expected,” he said. “It means it can wrap up the administrations for BP Fruits because I believe there is a contract on the property and it just finishes it off to be able to move on and hope for some creditors to see some money.” Knight Frank's Clinton Ramm said there was “good interest” in the former packing shed while it was for sale and as a result, the property is now under contract and is expected to settle later this year.
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Plaza bounces back as empty stores fill By BRAD PERRY AT LEAST two vacant shopfronts in the Riverland Central Plaza will become occupied as management attempts to fill the holes left by the recent loss of several businesses. Videogame store EB Games is currently setting up a new store in the Berri based plaza and it is understood a business has been earmarked to move into the premises of the former Riverland Plaza Newsagency. Plaza management, Savills Australia, visited the site on Tuesday but declined to comment about any new shops or the plaza’s future. Berri District Business Association secretary Barry Phillips said he is hopeful the plaza can bounce back because it is a key asset to the town and the Riverland. “It is still of interest for the town that it still be successful and attract people,” he said. “It’s the same as in any town,
■ NEW: Videogame business EB Games is preparing to open a shop in the Berri based Riverland Central Plaza, which is good news following the loss of several stores in recent months. Photo: JANE WILSON certainly in a plaza like the Riverland Plaza, that it does and historically has over many years, attracted many people into the town.
“Not only do people come into town to shop at the plaza but we’d like to think that people are also venturing up the street (to other shops).
“It’s extremely important (the plaza bounces back) from a Berri town point of view and a regional point of view.” Mr Phillips said vacant shops are not just a problem in the plaza but also in other Riverland towns. “There are vacant shops in the (Berri) CBD, there are vacant shops in the plaza and there’s vacant shops in Renmark, Loxton, Barmera and in Waikerie and so fort,” he said. “It’s a challenge for each town to make them all the more appealing and get people to come to their town.” “In the ideal world, we’d like to have all shops operating, open, attracting additional trade from outside and visitors. “In the real world, we’re faced with the reality that there is going to be shops empty, unoccupied, but across the board we’d like to think the challenge is there for new businesses to come along and set up and EB Games is an example.”
Community Health Centre Ral Ral Ave (To left of hospital)
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( 8582 2599
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4 • Riverland Weekly – Thursday August 4, 2011
Pet buyers beware By BRAD PERRY A NUMBER of backyard pet breeders in the Riverland are flaunting a trust system by accepting free animals and then onselling them. While the problem has been around for many years, it has been exacerbated by the current economic climate with many breeders forgoing health measures to make a quick dollar. Rivapetz Pet Care owner Dr Jenni Trewren said there is no regulation system to stop such practices. “Unfortunately, there are members of our community that see a litter of puppies as an income stream,” she said. “They don’t see them necessarily as long term pets for a family and so they will breed puppies to generate themselves income. “They don’t tend to be overly concerned about what impact that puppy and its health problems or potential health problems will have on the family that it’s going to. “It really is a bit of a minefield and there is some backyard
breeders out there who do a really good job and are responsible pet owners but it is like anything, unfortunately the ones that are dodgy give everyone a bad name.” Some people are also crossbreeding cats and dogs and selling them as purebreds at a premium price.
There are members of our community that see a litter of puppies as an income stream. “Suddenly people started breeding crossbreds...and people are charging a lot of money for that,” Dr Trewren said. “As soon as you have a crossbred animal, you can’t actually control necessarily how those genes are going to be expressed in that animal.” There have also been a number of reports of Riverlanders purchasing animals, only for the new owner having to put down the pet due to health problems. In one case, a person purchased a puppy last week and it
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“There are a surprising number of cases where people take puppies on board and I just don’t think the puppy has been properly represented to the new owner. “People are being conned basically. “The pet industry unfortunately is incredibly unregulated. “People really have to ask lots of questions and be very cautious when handing over money to somebody who is a private person or a backyard breeder.” One of the best ways to
identify a healthy animal is to see its parents, according to Dr Trewren. “The most important thing, and often this isn’t available, is you really want to actually see both the mother and the father,” she said. “Just to see what they physically look like because then you will have a better idea of what your puppy is going to turn into.” “Whether the puppies have actually been vaccinated and health checked is really important.” Rivapetz Pet Care has recently changed its policy on rehoming cats, making sure health measures are taken before selling the animals. “We’re feeling that rather than just giving away cats that are not desexed and having no control potentially over whether that cat ends up breeding another 30 kittens, we’re changing that around and saying ‘we will rehome these cats but we’re going to make sure they are desexed, vaccinated and microchipped first’,” Dr Trewren said.
■ LOVE: Rivapetz Pet Care owner Dr Jenni Trewren has a new cat rehoming program, where the pet is desexed, vaccinated and microchipped before sold. Photo: JANE WILSON
Hope for answers on levee bank ownership ■ From Page 1
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had to be put down due to heart problems and another owner discovered several weeks after its purchase, its dog had liver problems. Dr Trewren said people must run veterinary checks and do the research before purchasing an animal through a backyard breeder.
“We will have a good discussion to make sure the Minister is aware of all our issues and try to get some sort of solution to some of those issues,” he said. Correspondence from Federal Water Minister Tony Burke suggests there is funding available at state level for situations such as the levee bank repairs. “We’ve written to Minister Burke and he’s indicated in one of his emails there is funding provided to State Government for these types of activities and we want to know where do we go to apply for that sort of money and clarify that,” Mr Martinson said. “(Minister Caica) indicated
R E T N I W
the State Government will not be providing any money for the floodbanks and I’ve since heard they may provide money for the floodbanks on crown land but once again, we haven’t got that in writing and these issues need to be sorted out. “We would like to think there is some funding there.” With experts predicting up to 192,000 megalitres making its way to the Riverland in the next 12 months, council is hopeful of fixing the situation with the cost to repair the banks equating to 90 per cent of council’s rate revenue in one year. “Do you look at trying to be proactive and repairing any floodbanks and getting them tidied up for the sake of ‘x’ million
dollars, compared to Renmark being wiped out and going to the State and Federal Government saying we need 10 to 15 million dollars to replace Renmark,” he said. Mr Whetstone, who addressed the issue in Parliament last week, said some of the levee banks are water damaged, there are rabbit holes in others and some have been driven over. “It’s a matter of sitting down and working out responsibilities and where the buckets of money are to address the levee banks and at the moment, the council doesn’t have the money, the Federal Government has some money and I’m sure the State Government has got some
Weekend’s stormy weather ■ SNOW: This road at Murtho was covered by hail during Saturday’s storm and (below) Joel Sleep amongst the frosty mess.
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Government forum re-established By BRAD PERRY
money,” he said. “I’d like to think that we’re going to meet (today) and get an answer.” A levy for flood affected areas in other parts of Australia is currently being paid and preparation for flood should also not be forgotten, according to Mr Whetstone. “We see every Australian is paying for the unfortunate floods in Queensland and New South Wales,” he said. “The funds have been made available to those communities and I think flood mitigation needs to be treated in the same light. “If we do have rain of Biblical proportions or record proportions, we need to be ready.”
■ COVERED: Woolenok Fruits, at Murtho, is covered in hail from Saturday’s storm. Photos: PETER MANGELSDORF
THE Riverland local government forum will be re-established as part of plans for the region to have a stronger voice. After declining an offer from the Provincial Cities Association of South Australia to rejoin, the Riverland councils decided to meet with each other informally on a regular basis to discuss important issues. Renmark Paringa Council mayor Neil Martinson said the Riverland has differing needs to the regional cities currently part of the association. “We felt the relationship we have with the Local Government Association and also the Murray Mallee Local Government Association was covering our requirements and we didn’t think it was necessary to join the organisation,” he said. Instead it was proposed the local government forum be revisited, although it will not have any decision making powers as a whole. Local government, council chief executive officers and mayors and a Murraylands and Riverland Regional Development Australia representative will meet regularly. “It’s just an informal gathering of CEOs and mayors to look at, and or, discuss any issues particularly relating to the Riverland that may come up and that we could forward information on to the Murray Mallee Local Government Association or the LGA,” Mr Martinson said. In a recent Loxton Waikerie Council report, chief executive officer Peter Ackland reported that the forum will have many benefits. “It was our consensus that as a region, we would benefit from a regular forum where representatives from each council met to discuss regionally strategic issues to gain a position of consensus and agreed recommendation, the recent Riverland tourism issue being a case in point,” he said.
Thursday August 4, 2011 â€“ Riverland Weekly â€˘ 5
Fairways greener than ever By BRAD PERRY GOLF courses across the Riverland are embracing full water allocations with many of the greens looking in their best condition for many years. During the drought, a number of local golf courses struggled with a lack of water but 100 per cent allocation has turned things around. Renmark Golf Club president Peter Ruston said the turnaround has been amazing, with a slow return of green fee players. â€œIt (the drought) was a
hell of a struggle,â€? he said. â€œIt was a case of, like all the other Riverland clubs, we only kept the greens and tee areas going. â€œThe rest of the course was just left to its own devices and we just hoped for rain but we didnâ€™t get any of that in the three years we had drought restrictions. â€œThe turnaround from that point to now is dramatic and I think all the Riverland courses potentially now have stronger grass coverage over more of the course than they had even prior to the
drought.â€? Local golf clubs are now able to plan at least two years ahead with full entitlements. â€œWhat it does, it gives you a lot more flexibility,â€? Mr Ruston said.
farms or potentially doing other things with your water, whether you want to do the environmental thing and give some back to environmental flow or whether the clubs want to sell water if they are running tight financially.â€?
The turnaround from that point to now is dramatic. â€œYou can then start looking outside just keeping stuff alive but looking at the possibility of establishing turf
Meanwhile, the Loxton Golf Club was this month recognised in the Golf Australia Magazine as one of
the top 50 golf courses under $50 public green fee, with only four courses in South Australia included on the list. With 100 per cent water allocation in the current irrigation year, Loxton Golf Club president Glen Arnold said the greens are in top condition. â€œIâ€™m sure it (full water entitlements) will help all the golf clubs,â€? he said. Mr Arnold hopes recent national publicity for the course will help attract golfers to the Riverland. â€œItâ€™s certainly very
satisfying for us as a club who take a lot of pride in how we present our course,â€? he said. â€œEvery little piece of good publicity has got to be beneficial, not only for us but also for other clubs in the Riverland. â€œPeople come here on stay and play packages at the local hotels and weâ€™re very happy to have them here and obviously we wouldnâ€™t survive if we didnâ€™t have all those...players coming through.â€? This weekend, local golfers will compete in the Riverland pennants finals.
Club seeking drought protection
â– SEARCH: Berri Golf Club president Rob Thurmer hopes the facilityâ€™s rejuvenated course will attract more members. Photo: CALLUM TRIFONOFF
THE Loxton Golf Club is hoping the Loxton Waikerie Council can allocate any unused water to help secure the clubâ€™s future. The club, which has been at its current location for 60 years, is hoping the Loxton Waikerie Council can secure 100 megalitres of water to be used in times of restricted allocations but at this stage, council cannot commit the extra water. â€œWeâ€™re the only course in the Riverland that doesnâ€™t have access to STEDS water schemes, so that means we have to rely completely on the source of water from the River Murray as opposed to from STED schemes,â€? Loxton Golf Club president Glen Arnold said. At the height of the drought the club lost most
Berri pushes for more members
of its fairways and the course was only saved via a $30,000 water lease and council grant to the club. â€œWe found out when the drought was on, when the course went back a bit, people just stayed away in droves,â€? Mr Arnold said. â€œWeâ€™ve been making approaches to council to get a similar outcome as Waikerie have had, not necessarily the same but similar. â€œWhat we are saying to council is that because we canâ€™t get access to the STED scheme, there is some other way that council could help us out by allocating us water, especially in times of drought, thatâ€™s when we really need it. â€œWe think thatâ€™s only right and proper that we receive our share of help from local authorities.â€?
OPEN 24/7 Barmeraâ€™s Home of takeaway Sturt Highway Barmera â€˘ Phone 8588 2728 By CALLUM TRIFONOFF IN A BID to keep its course in pristine condition, the Berri Golf Club is seeking volunteers and members. With the course described as â€œnever being betterâ€?, the club is conducting a membership drive and calling on locals to dedicate their time to one of Berriâ€™s best known community assets. President Rob Thurmer stressed the importance of a successful golf club needing as many members as possible. â€œWe had a committee meeting (recently) and we talked about using more volunteers on the golf course,â€? Mr Thurmer said. â€œWeâ€™re around the 200 mark (in membership) ...if you want to run a very good golf course, which is going to be in the
centre of the town and be an asset to the community, youâ€™ve got to have at least 400 members. â€œYouâ€™ve only got to come look at the course, (itâ€™s fantastic), never been better.â€?
Declining membership at golf clubs is something which is a worldwide trend.
To spark the increase in volunteers, the club has worked tirelessly in its efforts. â€œWe put newsletters out, our manager Wayne Thiele, heâ€™ll ring around, heâ€™ll talk
to people as they come into the club, the pro shop,â€? Mr Thurmer said. â€œWhat we do is we say the presidentâ€™s offered to take care of the first and second bunkers along with volunteers,â€? Mr Thurmer said. â€œEveryone gets allocated a job.â€? Mr Thurmer said ageing members was another reason for the decline in volunteer numbers. â€œThe population is ageing so the volunteers weâ€™re getting are ageing,â€? he said. â€œKids wonâ€™t play unless there are other kids playing on the course. â€œA 10-year-old kid doesnâ€™t want to play with a 50-yearold, heâ€™ll want to play with his mates. â€œDeclining membership at golf clubs is something which is a worldwide trend.â€?
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6 • Riverland Weekly – Thursday August 4, 2011
New Loxton principal named
Donna steps down
By CALLUM TRIFONOFF
By CALLUM TRIFONOFF
LOXTON High School's principal for 2012 has been appointed. Steve Marshall, currently principal at Eastern Fleurieu School, has been named to fill that role. Mr Marshall will replace long serving principal Kent Spangenberg at Loxton at the beginning of the next school year and Riverland Education district director Brian Featherston is excited for the future of the school. “I think (the appointment will) provide enormous opportunity for young people to extend their learning,” Mr Featherston said. Mr Marshall brings with him a strong interest in vocational training. “With regard to the expertise that new principals bring, in the area of vocational training, he will also increase the number of pathways available for young people.” “I know Steve Marshall has significant experience in developing a trade training centre in Adelaide. “That should build on, significantly, the sensational work done by our leaders up here in securing a trade training centre over the past 18 months.” Meanwhile, current Renmark High School acting principal Orio Denti will officially replace Paul Wilton in the new school year. Mr Denti has been in the position in a caretaker role throughout the year.
AFTER resigning from her position as president of the Berri District Business Association, it is not completely farewell for Donna Langford. Remaining on the committee and dedicated to helping the association continue lifting its profile, Mrs Langford said it was the right time to step down. “I’ve been involved in that role for two years and I felt it was time for somebody else with new ideas and stronger ideas to come forward,” she said. “I felt I put in as much as I could. “We gained some new members and tried a few different things, which is what’s happening now, (we’re) going forward even though we don’t have a president etcetera.” A meeting was held last night to discuss who would fill the organisation’s key roles. Secretary Barry Phillips said that despite not having a president or vice-president, “the doom and gloom” has passed. “Most (organisations) run under a constitution, we do as well, and that states eight members (need to be) on the committee,” Mr Phillips said.
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“We’re certainly seveneighths of the way there, it’s almost like having a footy team and now we have to get the captain.” Mr Phillips announced the association has embarked on creating a business plan. “We want to work with our members and nonmembers to get a direction of where our association is headed and why are we actually here,” he said. “We feel the association needs to be contributing more and we want to go down the path for the next three months to develop a plan in consultation. “Hopefully that will help to set us up to go forward and ultimately help Berri and it’s district to improve from a business point of view.” At the annual general meeting on July 20, the association also lost treasurer Joe Hocevar but Mr Phillips has announced a replacement. “Robin Foley is the treasurer,” he said. “We discussed whether the association can still run smoothly without a president, without a vice-president, the general consensus was ‘yes’.”
■ STEPPING ASIDE: Former Berri traders chief Donna Langford looks forward to a continued involvement with the organisation. Photo: JANE WILSON
- Pages 24 & 25 -
Sam joins the Think Tank A FORMER Waikerie High School student has represented the GrowSmart Primary Industry Centre for Science Education, having been selected to attend an influential government and industry forum in Canberra recently. Sam Rogers was selected as one of 10 young people from around the country to attend the influential government and in-
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dustry forum in Canberra recently. Sam made a presentation to the Canberra Think Tank organisation on issues to do with Australia’s food security. Following the presentation, Sam joined other students at a reception at Parliament House to showcase the Primary Industry Centre for Science Education.
■ MEET: Senator Nick Xenophon with PICSE students Sam Rogers and Brooke Smith, with education officer Trevor Noble at Parliament House. Photo: SUPPLIED
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Chemical trails TO WHOM it may concern, I am enquiring if you are aware of the contents of the chemical spraying that has been occurring over the Riverland recently? On what could be called the most perfect days; ie: blue skies, almost no breeze or none and a beautiful 20 degrees and then, right on cue, here come the high altitude jets, criss-crossing the skies, spraying something into the sky which, if observed over a period of two to three hours forms into clouds, to entirely block out the sky and then keeps coming down l ike rain. If you are not aware what the spray is, that could be called a ‘chemical trail’. As opposed to contrails
that occur naturally and dissipate over a few hours harmlessly, these instead forms clouds to cover the entire district as far as can be seen. Have you, or are you going to find out what the hell they are spraying into our air? Andrew Stone, Renmark.
Misleading information MARILYN Smith’s letter of last week is misleading and implied that council had failed to give proper public notice of its meeting held on 20 July. Council published notice in accordance with its public consultation policy in both
local papers on June 22 and 23 respectively. The notice also provided advice on the ability for any member of the public to access the draft Annual Business Plan and Budget. Council, however, is not obliged to give a copy to everyone attending a meeting. Her final statement of “wasteful spending has not been addressed by council” was not substantiated at this meeting either, by written or oral presentation, and therefore gives no valid reason for council to not adopting the draft Annual Business Plan and Budget. Rod Ralph, Chief executive officer, Southern Mallee District Council.
Send your letters to PO Box 1279, Berri, SA, 5343 or email email@example.com All letters must be signed, include full name and address of the writer for verification purposes. The Riverland Weekly reserves the right to edit letters before publication.
Thursday August 4, 2011 – Riverland Weekly • 7
Rates rise in Southern Mallee as....
Music festival defends still magic
Council “horror budget” By BRAD PERRY THE Southern Mallee Council believes ratepayers will not leave the district on the back of a significant nine per cent rate rise. Ratepayers in the council area will be forced to take the brunt of an upgrade to the Lameroo Wastewater Management Scheme in the 2011/12 annual budget. Southern Mallee Council chief executive officer Rod Ralph said increasing electricity and water bills have also added to the rate rise. “I could say that, of course, it’s (the current economic climate) important but it doesn’t seem to affect our other utility providers, they don’t care a hoot that they are suddenly putting water up by 15 or 20 per cent and power by 17 per cent,” he said. “We’ve got to respond appropriately and put it (rates) up to what we feel meets the needs of still maintaining services. “What we will do for those who are affected, is put aside the time to work one on one with those people, so they aren’t financially disadvan-
taged as a result of an increase which is much higher than what they would otherwise expect.” Mr Ralph said he does not believe ratepayers will leave the district as a result of the rise, due to the prosperous nature of the Mallee.
We think...it’s going to be a horror budget for some.
“Fortunately one of the things going for this community is the fact it does have very good job prospects, there’s good employment here,” he said. “It’s not going to be any better anywhere else because they are still going to be paying the same council rates that are above CPI whether it be electricity or water.”
The Mallee council’s budget, which has been described as a horror for some, will help in the long term, according to Mr Ralph. “We think while it’s going to be a horror budget for some, what we will be doing is demonstrating ways in which we want to turn that around far more quickly than what’s currently projected,” he said. With council’s debts totalling more than $4 million, Mr Ralph said many projects will need to be put on hold or reviewed. “There will be some other projects, which are yet to be fully discussed in council, that we will be, as part of our strategic management plan, rolling out in the next few months,” he said. ”We will be saying ‘sorry, we’re no longer going do this or we’ll be curtailing expenditure along these lines in that area’ and we’ll also be identifying areas where we believe future savings can be made.” Meanwhile, the Karoonda East Murray Council will raise rates by five per cent for the 2011/12 financial year.
By CALLUM TRIFONOFF AFTER 15 years, the Riverland Primary Schools’ Music Festival still has the magic it had when it started and it will kick off again on Tuesday. Many students from primary schools across the region take part each year, performing to sell-out crowds at the Chaffey Theatre. For 13 of the 15 years the show has been going, Anne Chase has been involved and has been delighted with the response from the public, year after year. “I’ve been involved for 13 years as a choir trainer and (this is) my 10th as a regional co-ordinator,” Mrs Chase said. “It’s just such a worthwhile event to be part of...traditionally, it’s a sell-out.” Mrs Chase has been pleased with the primary school students who embrace the music every year. “The children enjoy the songs they learn, they especially like the songs with
actions,” she said. “Each year there’s commissioned work, so there’s a few songs at the festival that will be performed for the first time. “This year, it is called The Tales.” One of the highlights of the festival that Mrs Chase can remember was when renowned singer John Schumann, of I Was Only 19 fame, visited in 2009. “(He) composed our commissioned work, he came and visited our festival,” she said. “He came to a dress rehearsal, he came to the performances (and) he was interviewed on stage.” As every year, there will be the odd performance at the festival set to stun the audience. “This year, there’s a rap dancer from Waikerie, he’s going to take everyone’s breath away,” Mrs Chase said. The Riverland Primary Schools’ Music Festival will be held at the Chaffey Theatre from 7.30pm on Tuesday to Thursday.
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ONE of the most detailed maps ever produced of the Riverland, featuring roads, the river and backwaters has been released. The 1:350,000 map has been developed by city based company Carto Graphics and links the Adelaide Hills with the Riverland. The reverse side of the publication features nine detailed strip maps of the river and its backwaters, from the border down to Lake Alexandina. Carto Graphics manager Alex McGregor said the company wanted to provide an updated regional map. “Quite often there’s a gap (on maps) between the (Adelaide) Hills and the Riverland,” Mr McGregor said. “All roads on the map are named and all Mallee road surfaces updated.” Renowned cartographer Peter Davis has described the map as “the most complete and convenient presentation I have seen”. The map also features boat ramps, marinas and river distances, along with winery cellar doors, campgrounds and key tourist attractions.
Riverfront markets for Renmark? By BRAD PERRY RENMARK may have its own riverfront markets if speculation is anything to go by. The creation of a Renmark Riverfront Markets Facebook page recently has created much discussion in local circles about the possibility of another market in the region. While details about the possible market, or who would organise it are still unclear, Riverland Food Inc acting chairperson Dave Benda said if the Renmark riverfront market did go ahead, it was unlikely to be another farmers’ market with one already held weekly in Berri. “I honestly don’t think there
would be room for another farmers’ market in the sense that I reckon the people that we’ve got would stay with us,” he said. “I don’t know that there is too many more people that can provide produce at this stage. “I think if they were out there, we probably would have seen them (at the Riverland Farmers Market in Berri).” With markets in Barmera and Waikerie selling a range of wares, Mr Benda said a “bric-a-brac” type market in Renmark would be positive for the region. There was a proposal to hold a one-off Easter market in Renmark last year which did not go ahead.
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8 • Riverland Weekly – Thursday August 4, 2011
ulation, Country South Australians make up 30% of the pop ts. yet we account for 60% of people killed in road acciden Sobering statistic isn’t it? ths Even more sobering is the fact that many of these dea d. are caused when our mates turn into idiots on the roa But what if we had the power to prevent that? It’s true ind the that in the country we have to spend more time beh we wheel, we travel greater distances at higher speeds and live drive on more challenging roads. That’s just where we and where we drive. And we can’t change that. But we can change how people drive. don’t So when our mates turn into people who speed, or wear a seatbelt or drink and drive, just tell them they’re acting like a real
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Thursday August 4, 2011 â€“ Riverland Weekly â€˘ 9
Plenty on offer at expo
HE Renmark Club is set for a flurry of visitors at the end of the month with its Bridal Expo taking place. The popular event is likely to attract many locals and out-of-towners who are planning their wedding, or just coming for a good time.
Itâ€™s a good, one stop shop if youâ€™re going to be planning a wedding.
Function manager Lyn Wilksch is hoping for a massive day and said there will be plenty on offer. â€œThe club itself is very popular for weddings,â€? Mrs Wilksch said. â€œItâ€™s a good, one-stop shop if youâ€™re going to be planning a wedding.â€? There is entertainment for everyone at the expo as well.
â€œIâ€™m hoping for a big fashion parade and thereâ€™s also a competition running on the radio station that hopefully will attract a lot of people,â€? Mrs Wilksch said. â€œThereâ€™s cakes, (weâ€™re) hoping for cars, houseboats, photographers, hair and beauty, so thereâ€™s something for anyone whoâ€™s coming to the Riverland and wants to know whatâ€™s available locally.â€? Mrs Wilksch said the expo is a good opportunity for local businesses to promote themselves. â€œIâ€™m having more wanting to come to it...and small businesses that donâ€™t really have a shopfront but want to get their business out there,â€? she said. â€œIâ€™ll (also) have brides asking me whatâ€™s available and by coming to the expo, I get to learn whatâ€™s available in the region. â€œItâ€™s getting bigger each year and this year should be really good.â€? The Renmark Club Bridal Expo will take place on Sunday, August 28, and will commence at11am.
A big bash at local hotel celebrates Margaret and Jackâ€™s
Diamond anniversary By JANET BYRNE
AMEROO couple Margaret and Jack Caulfield recently celebrated their 60th anniversary with a family dinner at the Lameroo Hotel in early July. Margaret and Jack were married in the Church of the Irish Martyrs at Lameroo on June 30, 1951. Jack, now 87, grew up in Gladstone and served in World War II. After the war, he and his brother Mick came to the Lameroo district servicing tractors. Jack stayed on at Lameroo and met Margaret, daughter of Kit and Jim Byrne, and a grand-daughter of Lameroo pioneers James and Margaret Byrne. After their marriage, Jack worked on shares for local farmer the late Rex Schroeter. The coupleâ€™s first home was built south of Lameroo in 1909 for Lameroo pioneer Thomas Leckie. In 1966 Jack and Margaret bought a house on Adelaide Road and moved into the Lameroo township with their family of five children. Jack began working as a
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Telecom (later Telstra) linesman and Margaret worked as a cleaner and later a waitress at the Lameroo Community Hotel. They both retired in 1990 and continue to enjoy an active life in the local community. Children Brian Caulfield (Adelaide), Tess Gum (Pinnaroo) and Kieran Caulfield (Lameroo) and their families joined in the celebrations, while Mary Notman (Scot-
land) and Sheelagh Ellem (Toowoomba) and their families sent flowers and were in touch by telephone. Also present for the celebrations were Margaretâ€™s sisters Eileen Browne, of Moonta, and Patricia Charles, of Largs North, who were both bridesmaids at the wedding. Margaret and Jack also received letters of congratulations from the Queen, the Governor General, Prime
Minister, Leader of the Opposition, the State Premier and other parliamentarians. Margaret and Jack are looking forward to catching up with old friends at the 100th anniversary of the church where they were wed. Celebrations are in hand for a Mass and luncheon on August 28 to mark the 100th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Church of the Irish Martyrs at Lameroo.
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