Home' The Murray Pioneer : February 21st 2017 Contents www.murraypioneer.com.au Tuesday, February 21, 2017 NEWS 5
ALTERNATIVE water-saving meas-
ures need to be explored before an
extra 450 gigalitres is taken from
irrigators, causing economic and
social pain for basin communities,
says a Riverland citrus grower.
The Basin states and Federal
Government struck a deal in 2012 as
part of the Murray Darling Basin Plan
to recover 2750GL of water a year by
2019 and potentially a further 450GL
by 2024, bringing the total to 3200GL.
However, the delivery of the extra
450GL per year hinges on the poten-
tial economic and social impacts in
Victoria, New South Wales and
Citrus Australia South Australian
Region (CASAR) committee mem-
ber Mark Doecke said citrus grow-
ers and irrigators across the Murray
Darling Basin would be nega-
tively impacted if any more water
than the 2750GL was recovered.
“Any water lost to production is a con-
cern to the country,” he said.
“(Deputy Prime Minister) Barnaby
Joyce has more of a balanced view
than our State Government which
stomps around and expects people to
supply more water.
“Our state wants an extra 450
gigalitres of water which is purely
for South Australia, which equates to
every pump in South Australia being
turned off – it’s a lot of water.”
Mr Doecke’s comments come
after CASAR refused to back South
Australia’s claim to an extra 450GL of
water under the Murray-Darling Basin
Late last year Mr Joyce said it
would be difficult to recover the extra
450GL without causing socio-eco -
His comments caused outcry from
the South Australian Government,
with Premier Jay Weatherill saying his
Government would “retaliate in the
strongest terms”, flagging potential
legal action over the 450GL.
CASAR backed Mr Joyce in its
fortnightly column in the Murray
Pioneer on Friday, February 10 saying
any more water than what has already
been recovered “is more than the envi-
ronment needs and more than irriga-
tors across the basin are prepared to
Mr Doecke said more water could
be saved through environmental works
without negatively impacting irrigators.
“CASAR believes there are other
options that need to be explored,” he
“(For example) the Coorong could
be managed using the Southern Ocean
rather than using water in Queensland
coming down the Darling River.”
Alarming numbers at Riverland screening...
Skin cancer shock
A FREE skin cancer screening program in a
Riverland town has uncovered an alarming 38
suspected “life-threatening” lesions.
Of the 221 people screened in Waikerie, 54
were referred to a GP for further investigation,
with a total of 92 suspect lesions uncovered –
including the 38 particularly serious examples.
Held earlier this month, the two-day initia-
tive was run by the Lions Club of Waikerie at
the town’s medical centre. The club’s cabinet
director and project spokesperson, Joe Vikor,
was shocked that nearly half of those who
took part had never been screened for skin
“The Riverland has one of the highest rates
of skin cancers in Australia so this number
was surprising,” he said.
“We recommend anyone who hasn’t been
tested and think they have a suspect lesion to
see their GP.
“Seeing a GP on a regular basis would pre-
vent some of the problems.”
The project was run under the banner of the
Lions Cancer Institute of Western Australia
and Mr Vikor said local appointments were
booked out almost as soon as they opened.
“We had about 80 people we couldn’t
accommodate due to a full appointment
book,” he said. “So it shows there is a real
need for this in our community, and it was
pleasing to see people taking the time out for
Three Western Australian visitors – all
experienced in the field – conducted the skin
screenings at Waikerie.
No formal prognoses or diagnoses were
offered to the community members screened,
however any patient believed to have an area
of skin that required further investigation was
handed a sheet with an indication of the area
of concern shown on a skeletal drawing.
The person screened was then urged to
make an urgent appointment with his/her
nominated general GP to have the area of con-
cern investigated further.
Mr Vikor said the program is designed to
support local medical practitioners by leaving
them more time to deal with the patients who
have problems, rather than looking at patients
with clear skin.
At the Waikerie Lions Club free skin screenings held at the Waikerie Medical Centre recently,
were back (from left): Siva Lowings (screening personnel member), Marilyn Miller (Lions
member), Chris Lowings (screening personnel member), Joe Vikor (Lions cabinet director) and
David Liebich (Lions president). Front: Marilyn Liebich and Cheryl Mortimer (Lions members), Alex
Durman (student doctor) and Colin Beauchamp (Lions skin cancer screening chair).
LOCAL primary school students
have donned their helmets and
checked their wheels as part of a
program designed to enhance bike
rider safety on Riverland roads.
The Way2Go Bike Ed pro-
gram was run over three days at
Cobdogla Primary School for
year 4 to 7 students, with instruc-
tors teaching the importance of
bike and traffic safety.
Cobdogla Primary School prin-
cipal Trevor Broughton said the
program was well received by
“The students have thoroughly
enjoyed getting out of the school
grounds and onto the roads with
their bikes,” he said.
“When the (Way2Go) team
arrive they do a check of the bikes
to make sure they are all roadwor-
thy and that in itself is a valuable
experience for the kids to make
sure all the working parts are in
“We did have a couple of bikes
that didn’t meet that criteria, so
that just highlights to the kids that
safety starts with the bike they are
Mr Broughton said the major-
ity of students followed road rules
appropriately, but warned less
traffic in rural areas could lead to
children taking short cuts in bike
“I think in country areas stu-
dents can get a little bit blasé
with not much traffic around so
teaching them these safety rules is
important,” he said.
“We do get the odd report of
students riding home not as safely
as they should, so we are getting
in early at this stage of the year
and reminding them about safety
and the road rules.”
Students were exposed to vari-
ous traffic situations with instruc-
tors, who Mr Broughton said con-
ducted the program in a profes-
“The instructors take them
out to do a couple of laps of the
school, out on the road and teach
them how to predict situations and
make sure they keep themselves
safe out on the road,” he said.
“The instructors have been fan-
tastic and the students have appre-
ciated their input into bike safety
and learning how to ride safely.”
Bike program shows kids Way2Go
Cobdogla Primary School students Hayley Drogemuller (left), year 7, and Dylan Collins, year 6, with Way2Go Bike Ed education co-ordinator Kate
Irvine last week. PHOTO: Christian Longobardi
Total number screened: 221
Number of males: 98
Number of females: 123
Total number suspect lesions: 92
Number suspected of being ‘life threatening’: 38
Number of people referred to GP for further
Number never been screened before: 120
Note: All lesions are suspect until proven
otherwise by further medical examination.
Waikerie skin statistics:
has more of a
than our State
- Mark Doecke
CASAR committee member
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