Home' The Murray Pioneer : December 16th 2014 Contents www.murraypioneer.com.au Tuesday, December 16, 2014 NEWS 7
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Crowds flock to carols
ABOUT 400 people gathered with
picnics, deck chairs and their best
choir voices for the Berri Carols
by the River on Sunday.
The crowd joined in carols
accompanied by a nine-piece
band, and were entertained with
performances by Freedom, the
Barmera Men’s Choir, and Sing
The carols, presented by the
Christian churches of Berri and
Barmera, raised about $1300 for
the Riverland Christmas Appeal.
Carols co-ordinator Anne
Chase said she was happy with the
night’s events, and said a highlight
was a performance by Berri local
“She sang two beautiful songs
called A Cry In The Night and
What Child Is This,” she said.
“And Reverend Rob Stoner was
dressed up as a shepherd and told
the Christmas story.
“We (also) had a terrific nine-
piece band that (local musician)
Brenden Baldock organised.”
THE State Government’s recent
announcement of a planned
Murray cod restocking program
has been welcomed by the
recreational fishing industry.
Minister Geoff Brock and
Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
Minister Leon Bignell
announced on Thursday that a
working group would look into
designing a Murray cod stock
RecFish SA executive Peter
Teakle said the announce-
ment “feels like Christmas has
Mr Teakle said he has advo-
cated for action on the issue for
many years, including through
his role in the National Murray
Cod Fishery Management
Group and the Murray Cod
“It is a real positive for
Murray River fishers and
shows that things are changing
with respect to how these fish-
eries can be managed in South
Australia,” he said.
“I know that Riverland and
travelling river fishers will be
ecstatic at this news.”
Mr Teakle said native fish
numbers have declined sig-
nificantly in the Murray River
locally, with golden perch – or
callop – the only native species
left that anglers can catch and
Mr Teakle said the planned
restocking program would
bring the state “in line with our
“The future for Murray cod
just got brighter,” he said. “And
that’s good news for the fish,
the river and the region.”
Murray cod restocking a ‘relief’ for anglers
A SIGNIFICANT shortage of public
housing in the Riverland is leaving our most
vulnerable to “fend for themselves”, Member
for Chaffey Tim Whetstone says.
A Freedom of Information document
shows 518 people were waiting for housing
placements in the region last month.
Mr Whetstone said that since 2011,
Housing SA has sold 50 of its properties
in the Riverland and Mallee for a total of
almost $5 million.
“The State Government needs to stop sell-
ing our public housing, repair the existing
housing and put people into these houses and
support them, because they are the most vul-
nerable,” he said.
“We’ve got a number of families, includ-
ing children, sleeping rough without a roof
over their heads and it’s concerning that the
number of new requests for housing within
the region rose by 13 last month.
Mr Whetstone said that the homeless-
ness is a “major issue” in the region and
the State Govenment needs to implement a
long-term program to increase the number
of public houses to accommodate the grow-
ing number of people on the waiting list.
“With unemployment bordering on seven
per cent in the region, there is an expectedly
strong demand for public housing.
“The shortage of public housing in the
region is not being addressed and the number
of people on the waiting list continues to
increase with some constituents told the wait
would be two years or more.”
Social Housing Minister Zoe Bettison said
since July Housing SA had provided assis-
tance to 310 Riverland people who were
struggling to afford housing.
“Housing SA’s priority is to find accom-
modation for the most vulnerable people in
this community, particularly those on the
category one waiting list,” Ms Bettison said.
“Last month less than eight per cent of
people on the waiting list in the Riverland and
Mallee area were classified as category one
compared to a state average of around 14 per
cent. I’d urge Mr Whetstone to speak with his
federal Liberal colleagues about committing
to the various national partnerships that help
to fund these important services.”
Housing shortage at crisis point?
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