Home' The Murray Pioneer : November 14th 2014 Contents Why so obsessed
with lower lakes?
SINCE THE drought broke in
2007/08 Riverlanders would have
been aware of the fact that in
addition to enormous sums on an
unused desalination plant (over
$2 billion), our State Government
(as well as our media) have been
preoccupied with the salinity lev-
els in the lower lakes.
That preoccupation has cul-
minated in a proposal to further
reduce the salinity in Lake Albert
by a process called 'lake cycling'.
It means using a significant
quantity of water to raise and
lower the levels between Lake
Alexandrina and Lake Albert.
When choices have to be
made in dry times between
'lake cycling' and making water
available for upstream irrigators,
I suspect that we won't get a
look in. Above Lock 1 there are
approximately 35,000 hectares of
irrigated land and the Riverland
is where the majority of irrigators
The great ethicist Jeremy
Bentham said that government
was about "doing the greatest
good for the greatest number".
There are five irrigators using
I have long sensed a level of
aggression directed at Riverland
irrigators and a rather cavalier
approach to the water rights
which they purchased.
The State government seems
terribly troubled about the envi-
ronment of the lower lakes and
other curiosities such as 'cultural
water', but there is little con-
cern for the ongoing security
of Riverland towns. I know this
from my own experience as a
member of a ministerial advisory
Irrigators in the Riverland
know that half of the state's water
entitlement is lost to evaporation
off Lakes Alexandrina and Albert.
The price we pay for that loss is
maintaining those lakes as fresh
'Lake cycling' is certain
to threaten the livelihoods of
There has long been an engi-
neering solution -- a weir at
Wellington -- but not the political
will to embrace it.
Our rulers, terrified of offend-
ing the 'green' religion' which
has gripped the land, have opted
for touchy-feely cant and prevar-
It's time for some balance and
River Murray Advisory Committee
Wine Grape Council of South
Campout a success
WHILE THE Big River
Campout held in mid October
was smaller than expected it was
still declared a resounding suc-
cess by those who took part.
It also gave the host clubs,
Riverside Rodders and Riverland
Customs and Classics, the oppor-
tunity to establish the formula for
a fun program that entrants are
looking for in weekend events
like the Campout in the future.
The members and families of
both clubs were also very proud
that the Campout was an event
supporting beyondblue through
fundraising and awareness activ-
ities over the weekend.
The beyondblue organisation
works to reduce the impact of
depression and anxiety in the
community by raising awareness
and understanding, empowering
people to seek help, and support-
ing recovery, management and
A total of $2115 was raised
by the raffle for beyondblue.
These events are only possible
by the generous support of spon-
sors and everyone involved from
the host clubs to the participants
wish to sincerely thank them.
We are looking forward
to hosting the next Big River
Campout from Friday, October
16 to Sunday, October 18, 2015.
Riverland Customs and Classics
McHappy Day thanks
ON BEHALF of Ronald
McDonald House Charities
(RMHC), I would like to sin-
cerely thank the Renmark local
community for their support of
The event, which took place
at McDonald's restaurants
across the country on Saturday
18th October, has broken the
McHappy Day record and
raised in excess of $3.2 million
nationally. To put this into per-
spective - this equates to over
24,600 nights' accommodation
in a Ronald McDonald House
for families with seriously ill
Thanks once again to everyone
for their support, and we look
forward to next year's McHappy
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Tim's glass half
IT IS unfortunate that Member
for Chaffey Tim Whetstone has
decided to view an initiative
that will match local people to
local jobs as a glass half empty
('Worry about new jobs before
upskilling: MP', The Pioneer,
He obviously did not grasp
the point of the recently
announced $2 million Strategic
Employment Fund, which will
help place up to 900 people
across South Australia into jobs.
The State Government
acknowledges the unemployment
concerns of the Riverland.
Having visited the region
numerous times in recent years,
including during the implementa-
tion of the Riverland Sustainable
Futures Fund (RSFF), I've seen
first-hand the problems facing the
I also saw how the Riverland
community has a great sense of
shared purpose. The RSFF Fund
resulted in 31 local projects and
is on target to create up to 235
jobs and leverage $20 million
into more than $48.7 million in
total project investment.
It worked well because local
organisations, industry and busi-
nesses got around the table with
government and put their heads
It's easy to resort to simple
old rhetoric about government
-- but putting the right resources
in the right place for the best
outcome for the local economy
is never a simple task.
There's also the $265 million
South Australian River Murray
Sustainability Program, which
will invest in local employment
and infrastructure, amongst a
range of other regional develop-
The Strategic Employment
Fund is about responding to
local job needs quickly and
providing the exact skills that
local employers need to grow
We're currently drawing up a
list of preferred providers who
will partner with employers and
develop projects that will pro-
vide quick and flexible respons-
es to available job opportunities.
Across the state, we're work-
ing hard to fit people to current
and future jobs, ensuring that
the workforce has the right
skills to maximise opportunities
as they arise.
Mr Whetstone may be happy
to talk down the state but if
you're an interested employer, I
suggest you get in touch with the
Skills for Jobs in Regions pro-
gram at www.skills.sa.gov.au/
SEF or Freecall 1800 506 266.
Minister for Employment, Higher
Education and Skills
EVER heard a young person lament,
'There's nothing to do in the Riverland'?
Many readers would be familiar with
such a complaint, and certainly options
are naturally restricted by our region's
opportunities often necessitate relocation to
Adelaide or other cities. Without a job, life
can be difficult.
But look a little closer at the past few
months and it soon becomes obvious that
the Riverland offers plenty for those who
With its new Friday/Saturday format, the
Riverland Field Days in mid-September is a
genuine crowd-pleaser, in that it appeals to
all age groups and demographics.
Last month brought the Riverland Food
and Wine Festival in Berri, this weekend
Moorook hosts it annual Riverstock music
festival and next month the region's string
of Christmas-related events -- including
Loxton Lights Up -- begin.
Many licensed venues host functions
every weekend, while we're fortunate to
have a high-class theatre in our region. Then
there's the myriad of community groups
who stage public events on a regular basis.
So, options exist.
But in addition to entertainment, ponder
these questions: How often have you parked
right outside the supermarket or store you
intend to visit?
How many times have you driven to your
favourite spot on the river (or lake) and
found it vacant?
How easily can you make an appointment
for the doctor, physiotherapist, hairdresser
and so on?
When was the last time you were caught
We may not have the range of
entertainment options in the Riverland,
but surely the trade-off is lifestyle and the
abundance of personal space.
These positives make it even more
important to make an effort to support
events that are staged in our region. Without
adequate attendances, public events cannot
survive, even with the efforts of volunteers.
In short, don't complain if you don't go.
If I was Frank Turton I'd be upset
about being called a "loose
cannon" in the Murray Pioneer's
editorial ('The Lynch and
Chookman show', 11/11/14)
and I'd demand an apology. SUE
Plain to see that Rob of Berri
(Text the Editor, 11/11/14)
doesn't listen to 1062 all that
often. They don’t always fnish
at 9am. It's the only station that
gives plenty of local info. LIL
Yes I’ve heard ABC fnish at 9am
sometimes too. I think they do
that when someone's away. LES
A query to those who shop
online: What do you do about
after sales service if an item
I agree with Sue of Berri (Text
the Editor, 11/11/14). I don't
like the new Murray Pioneer
masthead. I preferred the old
I disagree, Sue of Berri. I think
the new heading looks great --
much more modern and neat
and tidy. Well done, Pioneer.
Mr Abbott not shirt-fronting Mr
Putin. Could that be a broken
promise? Or even a back-fip?
Getting tired of the same
old, 'Why can't people drive
the speed limit?' rant. Yes,
it is a massive pain getting
stuck behind slow motorists.
It happens everywhere and to
everyone, probably on a daily
basis. However, the limit does
not mean that you have to go
that speed, just like you don't
have to have fve people in a
fve-seater car. You don’t have
to weigh 150kg to use a 150kg
rated ladder. You don't need 10
people in an elevator to use it.
Calm your farm everybody. J
What will big-headed Port do
next time there is a fop with the
club? Cry for another $8 million
from the SANFL? You bet, Kossy
(Text the Editor, 11/11/14).
Maybe then they can afford to
pay it back.
At Renmark West, isn't it great
over the last few days smelling
the burning piles of cuttings
and general rubbish on vacant
blocks? It's better if you turn
your evaporative cooler on. MIM
The Murray Pioneer Pty Ltd (ACN 007 871 007)
78 Ral Ral Avenue, Renmark 5341,
PO 832 Renmark 5341
Phone: 8586 8000 Fax: 8586 4333
Editor: Paul Mitchell
Monday to Friday 8.30am-5pm
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
35 years November 15, 1979
Loxton wood sculptor Mick Elvey has
been appointed as artist-in-residence to the
town of Loxton.
The decision was made at the meeting of
the Loxton District Council on Friday.
PO Box 832, Renmark, SA, 5341
(08) 8586 8000
0448 629 186
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The editor reserves the right to edit all letters.
6 OPINION www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, November 14, 2014
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