Home' The Murray Pioneer : January 23rd 2015 Contents Serious river crash
IN THE Riverland we have some
of the best backwaters you'll
Every year thousands of
locals and visitors enjoy slow-
ly paddling or motoring their
way along our narrow winding
creeks. It's one of the best fea-
tures of living here or visiting.
Unfortunately a small minor-
ity of jet-skiers and power-boat-
ers are showing complete disre-
gard for the safety of others.
Last Saturday someone pow-
ered around Nelbuck Creek at
If the two boys who had
recently landed their kayak
had been on the water just a
few minutes later, quite simply
they would have been killed or
The father signalled for the
boat to stop, but it continued at
full speed through the rest of
the creek (he could have been
warning them of more craft on
I suppose the boat driv-
er didn't want to slow down
enough for his registration to be
Disturbingly, I've heard sever-
al other similar stories.
All motorised vessels have a
speed limit of 4 knots (approxi-
mately 8km/h) within 50m of an
unpowered craft or a person in
In our narrow, windy creeks
(e.g. Nelbuck and sections of
Bulyong and Kylie creeks),
forward visibility is well below
50m and boats must therefore
keep to the 4 knot speed limit.
If you can't see more than
50m ahead, you have to assume
that someone could be in the
water around the corner (low
speed is also best for enjoying
The people I have talked to
on the management team of the
Riverland Dinghy Club have
been great in following up our
concerns. They do their best to
have policies to make things as
safe as possible and make sure
their members know them.
Our water safety laws -- that
all people with a boat licence
must adhere to -- are also clear
and enforced by our water safety
But they can't do anything
about people who ignore the
laws or safety policies unless
others who see dangerous behav-
iour report it to them.
Please make it your respon-
sibility to report any unsafe
boating behaviour to our local
Marine and Harbours officers on
0407 713 178.
Quoting a boat registration is
ideal, but if that is not possible
they will appreciate hearing
the time and place as soon as
Reporting someone will actu-
ally be doing them a service.
They may get a substantial
fine and lose their licence, but
that is far better than the charges
they'll face for causing death or
As things currently stand, a
serious accident is not a matter
or 'if' but 'when'.
When it happens it will prob-
ably spell the end of the Dinghy
Derby (a great local event)
and the negative publicity will
impact hugely on our tourism.
Please do what you can to
prevent this happening and make
our wonderful waterways safe
Canoe Adventures Riverland
chance on offer
I WRITE to inform the young
people of the Riverland and
Mallee about a great youth lead-
ership program on offer through
the YMCA for which applica-
tions are currently open until
March 13, 2015.
The YMCA SA Youth
Parliament personal develop-
ment program is for 15-24 year
olds and offers training in par-
liamentary process and etiquette,
public speaking, speech writing,
researching, debating and Bill
You can apply to participate
as an individual or enter a team
of up to eight people.
Developed Bills are then
debated during Parliament Week
in Parliament House, and any
passed are sent on to the South
The program begins in May
2015 and includes a training
weekend and a week-long resi-
dential camp in July.
Youth Parliament is a unique
forum, reinforcing the importance
of the voice of youth throughout
SA at a parliamentary level.
MP mentoring is provided,
and there is funding available
for regional participants to assist
with costs of travel to Adelaide.
To find out more, go to
Member for Chaffey
Richie Benaud's on
a sticky wicket
RICHIE BENAUD should know
a sticky wicket when he sees
one, so it's sad that he has appar-
ently come out of retirement to
make ads telling Australians to
eat lamb on Australia Day.
Sheep are playful, sensitive
animals who wag their tails
when approached and can dis-
tinguish between different facial
expressions in humans, yet some
22 million of them are slaugh-
tered for their flesh every year in
Australia while they're still just
babies. They are crammed onto
crowded trucks and deprived
of food and water for up to 48
hours before being electrocuted
or shot in the head with a bolt,
then cut apart.
Stuffing ourselves with lamb
flesh harms our own health and
the environment, too.
It's un-Australian to celebrate
our country by sending lambs to
painful, terrifying deaths. Let's
give animals a fair go and cele-
brate Australia Day with tasty,
cruelty-free vegan food.
Special projects co-ordinator
Obama shows Abbott
the way forward
IN THE USA there are no real
poor people -- or that's what the
So Mr Obama has set out to
set them straight in the State
of the Union address with tax
breaks for the poor, fewer con-
cessions for the middle class and
upper class and harder taxes on
the banks and financial sector.
Whether his 'lame duck'
assertions carry any weight with
Americans is not the point. The
point is, this is a man who sees
inequities in a land of plenty,
sees few faults among working
class people, and wants them to
have a decent shot at life.
The French used exactly that
philosophy against the terrorist
criminals in Paris. They reward-
ed the heroes of the carnage,
they brought the criminals to
book, and they asserted to peo-
ple all over the world that French
people can make a difference.
I'm not sure that Tony and his
new grim reaper, Peter Dutton,
get the whole exercise about
what grass roots people bring
to Australia and the world like
Barack and America understand.
They're still fixated on keeping
people out when we need more.
They're still fixated with
cosying up to India, China and
Indonesia while being quick to
criticise human rights in their
country. They're still worried
about big business and what they
will say when 23 million people
just want a fair go.
They are a bundle of contra-
dictions from within, and right
now Australia needs a firm and
positive hand on the tiller.
We'll fix Australia. Just give
us a little direction, get out of
our way, and leave us to do the
job like a good boss does.
Oh, and just make sure those
sharks in the financial system
and banking don't rip us off.
IT'S easy to criticise Australia Day and
what it represents.
Every year on January 26 we'll hear
national debate about the flag, and how
some people believe the Union Jack should
be banished from it.
We'll also hear indigenous groups,
representatives and supporters label
Australia Day 'Invasion Day'.
Others lament the often controversial --
sometimes even head-scratching -- choices
for Australian of the Year, pointing out, with
some justification, that other Australians are
infinitely more worthy.
Then there are those who worry about
Australia Day sparking potentially harmful
nationalistic urges from society's so-called
And let's not forget that despite Australia
Day awareness and participation going
through the roof over the past 20 years,
it still generates few tangible, ongoing
benefits for the nation during the remaining
364 days of the year.
But if nothing else, to dwell on potential
negatives would be to ignore those
who richly deserve their Australia Day
honours; people who selflessly serve their
And while Australia Day is for
all Australians, of all cultures, the
overwhelming PR image is that of
celebrating traditional Australian activities,
like beach cricket and a barbecue -- things
we've been doing for generations.
There's nothing wrong with embracing
your own culture, even if some people find
it cringe-worthy. Other nations embrace
their own iconic identities with gusto.
Finally, if Australia Day makes even a
small number of people consider how lucky
we are to live here, perhaps we won't take
our freedoms for granted quite so much, and
we might be prepared to defend them and
our country's values a little more staunchly
-- and proudly -- in future.
Would the person who removed
our 'twilight trains' banner please
return it to the Cobby museum?
COBBY STEAM FRIENDS
My letter in Tuesday's Pioneer
should've read like this: It is
great the Berri marina is now
usable, but I still can't see how
it's worth $790,000.
Good point made in Tuesday's
editorial, 'Actually none of us are
Charlie' (The Pioneer, 20/1/15).
Everyone's so scared to say
anything about Islam. Plenty of
people slag off at other religions
Maybe your reporter was
unaware, but Pastor John
Strelan was also the much
loved and respected pastor
at Paringa Lutheran Church,
not just Renmark ('Pastor bids
emotional farewell', The Pioneer,
20/1/15). It was also diffcult for
us to say goodbye to Pastor John
and his lovely family.
Gee Joyce, you must be stirring
the possum. Bob of Barmera
has a mate, Bill of Barmera (Text
the Editor, 20/1/15). Would that
be the new odd couple or the
new fower pot men?
So much love for Abbott, Bob and
Bill (Text the Editor, 20/1/15),
all based upon the so-called
great PM's ability to govern. If he
is not doing well in the Senate,
it's because his skills as a
communicator are infantile. BEN
Bill of Barmera, I am not in denial
of the major issue. I am not so
blind and one eyed that I won't
admit to the mistakes the Labor
Party has made. You're right,
the defcit has risen since the
election. But the PM won't admit
to his part. Open your eyes, Bill.
You don't understand the reason
the Labor and minor parties
won't pass these Bills is not
because they want to obstruct,
but because they are hitting the
poor instead of being spread
across all communities. When I
was paying taxes I didn't get to
choose where my taxes went and
you don't get to choose either.
always thought the naval policy
was stupid and made on the run.
To love or hate
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
50 years January 21, 1965
A visit is to be paid to Renmark on
Thursday, January 28, by the Premier (Sir
Sir Thomas, who will be accompanied by
the Minister of Lands (Hon. P. H. Quirke),
will give a public address in the Renmark
Institute on Thursday evening on the subject
of 'Chowilla Dam and after'.
PO Box 832, Renmark, SA, 5341
(08) 8586 8000
0448 629 186
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number must be included for checking purposes.
The editor reserves the right to edit all letters.
6 OPINION www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, January 23, 2015
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