Home' The Murray Pioneer : September 2nd 2014 Contents Walk with the Lord. . .
For the Lord keeps his eyes on the right-
eous and always listens to their prayers; but
he turns against those who do evil."1 Peter 3:2
6 - "THE MURRAY PIONEER" www.murraypioneer.com.au Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Time to stop the debt
IN FRIDAY'S Murray Pioneer it was
revealed the Berri Barmera Council has
$1.36 million of unpaid rates.
I am disappointed that we, the rate-
payers, had to find that out through the
paper. Perhaps that would have been better
included in the rates review workshop/dis-
Now I know everyone thinks I am a
dumb bogan, but when you have ratepay-
ers upset at the level of rates they have
to pay, is it wise to be going deeper into
Is this part of the $9.3 million debt
we were told to expect by the end of this
financial year or not? If so, why?
I don't care what mythical method of
mathematics you use to make it -- or make
it look like -- a small percentage of the
overall rates bill, but the clear fact is the
council as of Tuesday night is owed $1.36
million by ratepayers.
The mayor invited us all to
examine the council spending and offer
suggestions on how to reduce the overall
To me, this rates debt is a clear message
to temper your spending with caution.
Sell the Berri river front development
to one of the developer companies and get
out with a modest profit.
The council can still retain control of
what's built where, but let the developers
carry the risk of selling the blocks of land,
bare or developed.
That's what developers do all the time:
put a hold on all projects until they can
be afforded and are viable (as in unless
a good percentage of this community is
going to be using the project then stop,
don't go into debt for a project that only
a small percentage of the community are
going to use but the whole community has
to pay for).
I'm afraid that the fact these unpaid
debts to council are from a three or more
year period doesn't soften the blow, and
isn't some kind of mitigating circumstance
It means to me that each year that
bill is going to grow larger as more can't
pay their rates, and clamping a caveat
over the title so that council is paid at
settlement and will not miss out simply
begs the question: When will settlement
be?How many years will that take?
How much interest will council have
to pay on borrowings to cover those
unpaid debts that are creating a hole in the
I say to council stop now and
re-examine your spending on larger
You don't have to be a genius to see
this is a problem that is only going to
grow, and to paraphrase what I've said
before, you can have a champagne town,
but it won't last long on a beer budget.
Support for volunteers
VOLUNTEERS play an extreme-
ly important role in communities in the
Riverland and Mallee and therefore should
have as much support provided as possi-
ble.In fact, it is estimated that volunteers
contribute almost $5 billion a year to
South Australia's economy and those who
donate their time have a positive impact
on the lives of many others in the com-
munity. I would like to use this opportu-
nity to encourage organisations to apply to
the 2014 Volunteer Support Fund.
This program enables eligible commu-
nity organisations to apply for grants of
up to $3000 for initiatives to advance and
assist volunteers, expand participation and
promote the value of volunteering within
The closing date for applications is
Friday, October 24, 2014. Further infor-
mation is available at www.ofv.sa.gov.au/
grants or by phoning 1300 014 712.
Member for Chaffey
6000 say 'no' to bail-in
THE Financial Systems Inquiry into
Australia's five so called 'too-big-to-fail'
(TBTF) banks (ANZ, Westpac, NAB,
Commonwealth and Macquarie) has been
flooded with 6000 submissions in the sec-
ond round (compared with 280 submis-
sions in the first round).
There has been overwhelming support
for a Glass-Steagall type complete sepa-
ration of commercial banking away from
Remember, it was the investment bank-
ers' speculation -- gambling -- in deriva-
tives that caused the 2008 GFC.
That debt is still there only grown many
Now TBTF banks want to empty
customers' accounts to reduce their
gambling debts. But they need legislation
to do it.
As former ANZ Bank director John
Dahlsen charged in his second round sub-
mission: "The interim report has been pre-
pared by bankers, on behalf of bankers, for
bankers." (Australian Financial Review,
August 18, 2014.)
Bail-in legislation has already been
prepared. If it passes into law it will be a
clear failure by the Federal Government
to preserve the common good of
It would be legislation condemned by
Pope Francis in his Evangelii Gaudium,
declaring, "such an economy kills".
The clear message to Federal Treasurer
Joe Hockey is that Australians are saying
'no' to his 'bail-in' legislation.
If the Financial System Inquiry doesn't
take time to consider all the submissions
and change its present thinking and dead-
line, it raises the question: Is the outcome
All it takes for evil to prosper is for
good people to do nothing.
What can we do? We can join the
Citizen Electoral Council who are leaders
in the fight (www.cecaust.com.au).
Why are we so surprised?
Nobody should be surprised when opening
their Emergency Services Levy (ESL) bill in
the mail this week.
Sure, the annual charge has ballooned --
up 163 per cent on a $400,000 property, for
example -- and it will place even more cost-of-
living strain on many families across the state.
But the changes were actually outlined in
the June State Budget.
They weren't given too much publicity, as
the city-centric media was largely preoccupied
with other angles, such as the introduction of
a city car park levy, but they weren't hidden
Secondly, a state already in debt and still
splashing out on items like the Adelaide
Oval and the Royal Adelaide Hospital has to
generate extra money from somewhere.
These major infrastructure projects have
also been well publicised. Indeed, State Labor
has used them as re-election platforms.
Why are we surprised that the State
Government is devising new ways to raise
money? Raising levies and charges through the
roof is among the simplest ways to do that.
Labor Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has been
equally predictable in blaming the Federal
Government for the State Government's
current cash squeeze.
From our files
MILDURA SPEED LIMIT: Motorists
will soon be able to travel at 110km/h on the
Victorian section of the Sturt Highway between
Renmark and Mildura, after the Victorian
Government approved the 10km/h increase.
RENMARK POKIES: Poker machines could
be operating at the Renmark Hotel by tomorrow,
depending on the installation time required. The
hotel hopes to have 30 machines operating, with
an extra 10 expected at a later date.
From The Murray
September 3, 1999
From The Murray
September 6, 1994
the writer. We do not accept nom de plumes. An address and
cking purposes. The editor reserves the right to edit all letters.
Dose Of Dorin
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Sonja Modlinski, Wendy Forbes,
Sally Martinson, Brooke Proud
The Murray Pioneer can be purchased at the Rundle Mall Plaza, Adelaide
To the idiots who took the car from the shed:
mate, how would you feel if police were
knocking on your door, or your mate's door,
investigating the disappearing car from your
I am disappointed to read so many negative
comments about the Berri Barmera Council
in the Text to the Editor column every week.
People are accusing council about matters
that have nothing to do with council. Sally of
Moorook (29/8/14), did you think to ask the
hospital who maintains the car park before
sending your text? If you did you would have
found that the responsibility lies with the
hospital, not the council. As for the rock wall
in Berri, I feel that it beautifies this high-traffic
area that is seen by many locals and visitors to
our region. This is called progress and it looks
fantastic. The Berri Barmera Council does a lot
for our community and we, as a community,
need to stamp out this negative attitude. So
please, before sending a negative text, take
the time to research the matter or simply
contact the council first.
Well done to Meg of Renmark (29/8/14) for
rescuing Pete the pelican from a fishing line.
I totally agree that people need to have more
respect for the environment and wildlife. Stop
being lazy and treating the river as a rubbish
Paul Mitchell, your editorial once again hit the
spot ('Expect more unpaid bills', 29/8/14). With
more people understanding we may have
change. We can only hope.
I agree with Ian Kent's letter to the editor
(29/8/14). We purchased fuel in Adelaide a
couple of weeks ago for $1.28 a litre. That's
22c less than what we could fill up for in the
Riverland. That netted us a $20 plus saving on
our purchase. It's hard to drive past that sort
If the Riverland wants a fair dinkum footy
competition the following needs to happen:
the Independents need to go -- it's hard,
but having two competitions is no longer
viable. And the RFL has to work on getting
a couple more teams, either from here or
encompassing the Mallee competition, which
is also struggling. The second step is fixing the
finals system by rewarding the higher-ranked
team with a home final. Money sharing can be
arranged, but the integrity of the competition
shouldn't be compromised by the rotation
system (not to mention playing one team four
times in the minor round).
Why aren't we yelling at the Federal
Government? Other than the ACT, this is the
only Labor state and we are paying for it. LIL
Unpaid council rates sky-rocket (The Pioneer,
29/8/14), $1.36m in arrears to the Berri
Barmera Council. The CEO may well say this
amount is manageable for council while
it clearly isn't for the community. Is this a
message to the Berri Barmera Council or not?
Let's hope the message gets through to the
rate review panel.
Thank you, Murray Pioneer, for our local TV
news segment. Loving it.
More rain and more people driving too
fast and generally not driving to the road
conditions in the Riverland.
0448 629 186
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