Home' The Murray Pioneer : January 6th 2017 Contents Councillors have
standards to uphold
NO doubt some of the Berri
Barmera councillors would be
a little miffed at the letter from
Trevor Mayfield in the Pioneer
last week (‘Let’s follow Cr
Quast’s example’, 30/12/16).
To a point I concur with some
of his comments.
On behalf of Rotary I was
invited to a formal council
meeting to be presented with a
cheque for sponsorship of the
Berri Merri Christmas event.
During the mayor’s presenta-
tion to me one member was
swinging around on his chair
laying back until he was hori-
zontal and continually interject-
ing with smart alec remarks.
He even insinuated that the
event would be good for the
mayor’s party hire business.
It’s always difficult to be in
local government and have a
business but I do know that Peter
and Anne Hunt give significant
and much-appreciated sponsor-
ship to events such as Relay for
I haven’t noticed this council-
lor giving so much to the com-
An exhibitor at last year’s
National Local Government
Expo in Adelaide commented
to me that they spoke to hun-
dreds of councillors, mayors and
CEOs from all over Australia.
I received negative feedback
about a (male) Berri Barmera
councillor, whose name he was
unable to provide.
It’s unfortunate that the whole
council has to wear the unac-
ceptable behaviour of one or
Our elected members repre-
sent us and our towns on many
committees and boards, they
meet with senior government
officials and government min-
isters. Their conduct can have
an effect on the image of our
region, tourism, developers and
The behaviour that I
witnessed at the meeting would
have tested my tolerance levels.
Unfortunately the remaining
councillors, mayor and staff have
to suffer this conduct for the
four years and many meetings
that we, as voters, have inflicted
Local government elections
are due next year.
Perhaps some more serious
consideration should be given by
all of us about who we elect.
They should be people who
will contribute to our region,
conduct themselves in an accept-
able manner, are able to present
and negotiate with their fellow
elected members, and accept
Views on airport
sale must be heard
EARLY in 2017 Renmark
Paringa Council will seriously
be considering the Chinese inter-
est in their initial submission a
few months back of purchasing
the Renmark airport and sur-
rounding land for developing a
In 2007 a similar situation
occurred in Ballarat, Victoria,
where a Singaporean company,
ST Aerospace Academy, started
a flying school with students
from Singapore and China.
The latest figures (2015) on
public record indicate they have
27 flying instructors, in excess
of 60 aircraft and train at least
200 students per year, with each
student gaining approximately
250 hours overall flying time.
A close family member of
ours has been flying for several
years and until recently had his
own plane, flying in and out of
Upon entering and departing
an airport it is essential to com-
municate clearly your altitude
and directional positioning
with other aircraft for a safe
At Ballarat on most occasions
there were up to five aircraft in
the vicinity of the airport.
The problem is that for these
students, English is a secondary
language, making it difficult to
understand their responses.
It became a matter of utilising
one’s visionary skills, waiting
for a gap, then playing dodgem,
and trusting that God and luck
are on your side.
As far as we are aware, it has
only been an initial submission
to council. Does council have
an indication on the number of
flights per day?
If similar to Ballarat, one
would assume they could be
taking flights by the hour or
better still 10 minute intervals.
Is this going to affect the
tranquillity of our rural life as
we know it, with flight after
flight affecting the quietness and
repose of our lifestyle, all for the
price of the mighty dollar?
What are the risk factors of an
Is the fiscal figure or nature
of the development subject to
the Foreign Investment Review
One can assume
accommodation for students
will be an attraction to some
businesses in the community,
however one would envisage
flight instructors, engineers and
other personnel required for
running the airport would be
from overseas on 457 Visas and
not local employees.
We have all witnessed the
council’s decision to allow the
Murray River Queen’s relocation
from Waikerie against the wishes
of the majority of the ratepay-
ers. Are we again going to be
subjected to overruling by the
council, without considering the
collateral damage in the future?
These are a few of the many
questions we as ratepayers and
the public need to demand from
the council prior to any decision
DENNIS and JILL BINDER
When the Queen
WHILST we all wish Queen
Elizabeth a speedy recovery
from her serious cold, obviously
thought is given to what will
happen when Her Majesty does
eventually pass, which we pray
will not be for many years to
However, undoubtedly our
lives in Australia, as well as the
lives of people throughout those
countries of which Her Majesty
is Queen, will change.
Firstly, there will be a tremen-
dous absence felt by most. It will
be a sense of shock, even though
we all know that being over 90
the time will eventually come.
Then, amidst the mourning
will be the realisation that there
is a new sovereign: King Charles
(or George as he had earlier
indicated he would like to be
named). This is because our
monarchy is seamless. Upon the
passing of the monarch the heir
apparent immediately succeeds
to the throne.
Within a day or so the new
king will be proclaimed in all of
those countries of which he is
The Queen has been a part of
the lives of all her subjects for
over 60 years. Most were born
during her reign.
It will be as though a safety
net has disappeared because
we have always had a sort of
assured faith that the Queen is
there to protect us. That faith
won’t be there when Charles
becomes King because it is
something that is earned and is
It will take many months
before people begin to accept
that we have a new monarch and
by that time arrangements will
be being made for the corona-
tion. Of course, in Australia and,
most likely other countries, there
will be some who will be talking
up a republic. This will not serve
them well and is likely to turn
many against them.
The fact is that we, in
Australia as well as the other
realms, are fortunate indeed to
have as our sovereign such a
devoted and conscientious head
of state whose dedication to duty
One whose quiet diplomacy,
innate pragmatism and calm-
ness in crises has guided the
Commonwealth through so
many difficulties. Over the many
years of her reign she has shown
an unerring understanding of
people, of society and of history,
imparting her wisdom to the
many prime ministers elected to
office in her realms.
She was the first monarch
to visit Australia and has done
so on 16 occasions, the most
recent being in 2011. On each
of those visits she has brushed
aside security and protocol
insisting that she meets as many
of her people as possible. She is,
indeed, the people’s Queen.
Our prayers and thoughts are
with Her Majesty that she will
soon recover fully and resume
her duties in overseeing our lib-
erties and our freedoms under
Australian Monarchist League
FIVE people caught drug-driving their boats
along the Murray, the start of VACSWIM
lessons in the Riverland, warnings about
river safety – at the height of summer, we’re
appropriately inundated with news and
information about water safety.
Sadly, this summer has already seen a
slew of drownings across the nation, and
many more near misses that could easily
have become tragedies.
Backyard pool drownings are particularly
disturbing, given the victims are almost
These incidents seem to be in epidem-
ic-like numbers at the moment, and – as
is the habit in modern Australia – the first
reaction is to blame someone, normally ‘the
Calls for more stringent regulations on
backyard pools were inevitable.
No one is downplaying the seriousness of
the problem, nor the desire to avoid making
terrible situations even worse for grieving
But personal responsibility surely has a
role to play somewhere in this picture.
If you’re not confident in and around
water either avoid it, or take necessary steps
to boost your chances of survival – like
If you don’t know an area, or its
conditions, err on the side of caution.
If you can’t watch young children every
single minute they’re around a pool or in the
river, don’t let them in.
Lawrie Laurence visited the Riverland a
few years back for a guest speaking gig at
the annual Citizen of the Year presentation
The average age of those in the room
would’ve been pushing 60, and attendees
included local council representatives, and
many other highly respected Riverlanders.
Despite the demographic, before night’s
end Laurence had the whole room doing his
‘kids alive, do the five’ song and dance.
Everyone was familiar with it and its
The point is, we all know about water
safety; what’s safe and what’s dangerous.
To save lives we don’t need more
government intervention, we just need to
What hail relief grant was given?
After looking into the grant, I
would say about four growers
would be eligible. When you lose
75 per cent of your income and
that’s your main income, and
you try to make the most of what
fruit you have left it is ridiculous.
Small growers shafted again.
Why is it that so many things are
called event? We’ve had a high
river event, black water event
and a freak hail storm event.
‘Event’ must cover most things,
whether planned or not.
Excellent front page of Leon
Bignell and Tim Whetstone
getting ready to rumble (Pioneer,
30/12/16). Hopefully the issue
can be sorted out to the benefit
Trevor Mayfield, your statements
may or may not have some
merit, but I’m not sure if Cr
Quast is your inspiration (‘Let’s
follow Cr Quast’s example’,
Pioneer, 30/12/16). The Loxton
Waikerie council seems very
divided at the moment. Nothing
to aspire to, I would’ve thought.
How anyone can blame power
blackouts – caused by weather
on the government is beyond
Well done, Australia Post.
Ordered an item from Chullora,
NSW, on December 29, received
it on January 4. Worth praising,
rely on yourself,
The Murray Pioneer Pty Ltd (ACN 007 871 007)
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PO 832 Renmark 5341
Phone: 8586 8000 Fax: 8586 4333
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6 OPINION www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, January 6, 2017
10 years ago January 5, 2007
‘NOT A DONE DEAL’: River Murray
Minister Karlene Maywald has declared the
State Government’s plan to block off Lake
Bonney is not a done deal.
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