Home' The Murray Pioneer : December 5th 2014 Contents Hughes’ coverage
over the top?
I DON’T wish to belittle the
death of anyone or be insensitive
to those mourning their loss,
however I do despair at the hype
and attention given by the media
and public to when someone of
Around the same time Phil
Hughes was killed, a workman
(didn’t catch his name) work-
ing on the new Royal Adelaide
Hospital was crushed by machin-
This would have been a horri-
ble, lonely death and witnessed
by no one.
It is an occurrence that hap-
pens often. He was a family
man and very important to those
I didn’t see requests for hard
hats, work gloves and tools to
be left out on display and his
funeral wasn’t covered live by
three channels. (This coverage
was bigger than Anne Wills’
I hate being told by the media
what should be important in our
Get a grip Australia.
Treasurer has more
money, not less
STATE TREASURER Tom
Koutsantonis (‘ESL cuts all
depend on Mr Abbott’, The
Pioneer, 2/12/14) has stated that
the Federal Government has cut
$898 million from our state’s
health and education budget over
the next four years, 2014-15 to
Does this mean South
Australia will be getting less fed-
eral money for health and educa-
tion in 2014-15 onwards than in
According to Warren Truss,
Minister for Infrastructure and
Regional Development, it does
Mr Truss states in a press
release on October 9, 2014 that
federal funding to our states
health budget will increase by
$333 million and education will
increase by $275 million from
2014-15 to 2017-18.
That’s increases of 34 per cent
and 27 per cent respectively from
These figures have been calcu-
lated from the 2014-15 Federal
Budget papers. Are these figures
to be trusted?
Where does Mr Koutsantonis
calculate his figure of $898 mil-
Did he compare the 2013-14
Federal Budget papers with the
2014-15 Federal Budget papers?
As a layman to analysing
budget papers I find it hard to
arrive anywhere near a cut of
More clarification from Mr
Koutsantonis would be greatly
appreciated as to how he calcu-
lated these cuts.
Nevertheless, our state will
have more money to spend on
health and education, not less.
It just won’t be as much as
what the previous federal Labor
government wanted to give our
state over the forward estimates.
The increase however in fed-
eral health and education funding
is apparently not enough for our
State Government to efficiently
run our hospitals and schools.
Not even enough to stop the
threats of hospital closures and
the doubling of elective surgery
They want more money and
they want us to pay for it through
increasing our payment of the
With a 2013-14 federal defi-
cit of $48.5 billion, the Federal
Government deemed the funding
to health and education budgeted
by the previous federal govern-
ment was unsustainable.
South Australia’s deficit for
the 2013-14 year was $1.23 bil-
lion – the largest deficit in South
Our federal and state govern-
ment spend more than they earn
and now our state government
want the taxpayers of this state
to pay more, not to decrease debt
but to continue to increase health
and education spending that
appears sustainably unrealistic.
Mr Koutsantonis, why are the
federal increases to health and
education not enough that you
need another $90 million a year
from the people of this state?
MAC profit cold
comfort for victims
THE Motor Accident
Commission’s bumper profit,
as recorded in its annual report
tabled last recently, is cold
comfort for motor accident
victims who have been faced with
severe cuts to compensation.
The Motor Accident
Commission (MAC), which runs
the state’s Compulsory Third
Party (CTP) scheme, reported a
2013-14 profit of $483 million,
even after $100 million was
moved from the fund to pay for
Meanwhile at the same time
compensation to most motor
accident victims has been
slashed due to legislative chang-
es to the CTP scheme.
It is patently unfair that
a hugely profitable scheme
designed to protect motor acci-
dent victims is failing to provide
adequate compensation to those
who are injured.
Since July 1, 2013, the thresh-
old to be eligible for compensa-
tion has significantly increased,
meaning the level of compensa-
tion for pain and suffering and
economic loss has been greatly
We do not think it’s a coin-
cidence that, months after the
harsh new changes came into
effect, the State Government
announced it would open the
CTP scheme to private insurers.
Under the current scheme, the
assessment for compensation is
based on an injury scale value
(ISV), whereby the court assigns
a numerical value to an injury
based on its severity.
A claimant cannot receive
compensation for injuries with
an ISV of 1-10.
The Law Society has called
on the Government to, at the
very least, make the following
amendments to the CTP scheme
as soon as possible:
Remove the threshold for eli-
gibility for damages on the ISV
Revise the scale so that com-
pensation of pain and suffering
is comparable to the Queensland
model (a much fairer system).
Remove the 20 per cent dis-
count on economic loss (cur-
rently claimants are eligible for
just 80 per cent of past economic
Remove the accreditation pan-
els relating to Section 76 of the
Civil Liabilities Act.
The CTP scheme can easily
afford to compensate motor acci-
dent victims adequately. Changes
need to be made to better pro-
tect vulnerable people who are
injured on the road
Law Society SA
WHATEVER your political persuasion,
it would be difficult to argue that current
governments have ignored the Riverland’s
Indeed, the list of programs aimed at
stimulating the local economy – as outlined
by State Minister for Employment Gail
Gago in today’s Murray Pioneer – and
others across the state is impressive.
Government money has been available
for numerous programs, including the $20
million Riverland Sustainable Futures Fund,
plus other state and federal funding streams.
Given the debt problem set to envelope
both our state and our nation in the years
ahead, such wells are likely to dry up sooner
rather than later.
So, at the moment, governments can
counter criticism of ‘not doing enough for
the regions’ by simply pointing to the wads
of cash that have been available.
But not every business is eligible for
these grants, while in some cases only a
percentage of those eligible are actually
It’s called picking winners.
All these programs are well intentioned,
and indeed deliver tangible and valuable
benefits for those involved.
But most private enterprises simply want
better conditions under which to operate.
Less red tape, lower power and utility
charges, less set-up costs, less employee-re-
lated expenses, less barriers to growing their
business, less government charges.
Less really would be more.
Only by freeing up commercial opera-
tors and attracting newcomers will the real
wealth generators start to thrive.
The Riverland, for example, needs its
growers to make regular profits. When they
do okay, so does the Riverland, as their
money flows through the community, ulti-
mately leading to more local jobs.
When they struggle, the Riverland does
I think the boat ramp, like
the recreation centre in
Berri, will be worth the wait.
I can’t understand you two
complaining, Eric and DRP (Text
the Editor, 2/12/14). At least
our council is trying to make
Berri a better place to live.
Well done to the Berri Barmera
Council and the hotel for a very
well staged Glossop High School
prom night last week. Everything
was so well organised and it all
went smoothly, from where I was
I am now convinced that our
council could be more tourist
friendly. First the camping fee at
Martin Bend. Second, it’s very
and caravan, or RV, in the town
centre. Third, a tourist from the
caravan park was playing with
his dog and a ball, letting the
dog swim in the marina. But it
was not fenced off and he was
told by the inspector to put the
leash back on his dog. They
were clearly doing no harm to
anybody. It is not rocket science:
keep the tourists happy or
there’s no tourism money.
I loved the article by Pamela
Perre (‘Nonna’s 88th birthday
and the art of pickling’, The
Pioneer, 2/12/14). I can relate
to those sentiments so well,
being Italian myself. It warmed
my heart to read Pam’s story.
I agree, Richard of Renmark
(Text the Editor, 2/12/14),
people would leave the
Riverland sooner than
not alone in my thinking after
Victoria’s election result that Mr
Abbott is going to have to pull
a ‘wabbitt’ out of the hat if the
Federal Coalition want to stay
alive after 2016.
Sue of Renmark (Text the Editor,
25/11/14), ABC has no right
to be biased – it’s taxpayer
funded. We can choose to buy
a NewsCorp newspaper or
not, and choose to watch the
commercial channels (and buy
the products advertised on
there) or not. We can’t choose
not to pay for the ABC. So, yeah,
they have no right to be biased.
In fact, their charter says they’re
not meant to be.
Where did you pull the IPA
from, Heather (Text the Editor,
2/12/14)? And what specifically
have you got against them?
They’ve been criticising Abbott
and co. as much as anyone.
Ian Kent, here we go again,
accusing the ABC of bias
(‘Victorian result a pointer
for Coalition’, The Pioneer,
2/12/14), yet happy to listen to
Jones and Bolt. Don’t give me
that old chestnut that we all pay
for the ABC, so they shouldn’t
be biased (in your eyes). When
I was paying taxes I helped pay
for a lot of things I didn’t use.
That is what we do, so get over
it. You say the senate is a mess.
What makes you think their
vote is less important than the
major parties or anyone else?
Whether they were elected on
a small vote or not. It is called
democracy and it has served us
well for many years, whether we
like it or not.
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
30 years December 4, 1984
FATHER Christmas will have 40 helpers in
the Renmark Christmas Pageant on Friday
night. Renmark Primary School elves will
lead Father Christmas from the Renmark
Hotel along Murray Avenue to Fourteenth
Street and back to Hambours’ corner then
up Ral Ral Avenue.
20 years December 2, 1994
CHRISTMAS lights worth more than
$2000 were torn down from a pine tree
and destroyed in Renmark’s town centre
overnight on Tuesday in an act described
by Mayor Rod Thomas as “senseless
PO Box 832, Renmark, SA, 5341
(08) 8586 8000
0448 629 186
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6 OPINION www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, December 5, 2014
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