Home' The Murray Pioneer : March 17th 2017 Contents We pay for Jay and
WHY does South Australia con-
tinue to put up with a premier
and a treasurer who are obsessed
with removing the community’s
access to mechanically generat-
There is much historic evi-
dence that obsessive community
leaders have in time destroyed
We could cite ancient Rome,
Middle English history, 20th
century Germany, and many
Middle Eastern and Oriental
smaller nations where there is
destabilising, obsessive gov-
ernment. Jay and Tom must
realise, sooner rather than later,
that the people are sick of their
obsession being imposed at com-
munity and personal wellbeing
Does Loxton need
a swimming pool?
LOXTON Waikerie councillor
David Kimber has recommended
that Waikerie residents read the
Friday, March 3 edition of the
Murray Pioneer editorial column
which includes questioning the
need for the current number of
Olympic size swimming pools in
the Riverland (‘Some tough pool
Given the significant amount
of money required to upgrade
the existing Loxton swimming
pool and noting the relatively
close proximity of Loxton to
Berri perhaps the appropriate
solution would be to close the
Loxton swimming pool, with
Loxton residents to utilise the
nearby Berri facility?
More water needed
IS only 30 per cent of water
stored in the Murray-Darling
Basin allocated for farming?
Is 70 per cent destined to go
down the river for ‘environmen-
Since 2012 has the water
price risen from about $20 per
megalitre to $200 or more. Rural
communities are dying. They
shouldn’t have to rely on the par-
asitic non-industry of tourism as
their chief means of support.
If an Australian agricultur-
al industry is to survive, the
Federal Government must assign
more water for agricultural use.
And build new dams.
Yes, new dams. Where? That’s
up to the experts.
Perhaps a ‘lock zero’ near
Wellington, South Australia,
plus dams on the Jingellic arm in
NSW and on the Buffalo River
near Myrtleford in Victoria.
Nichols Point, Victoria
Extra 450 gigalitres
bad for communities
A KEY reason for the many
problems associated with imple-
mentation of the Murray-Darling
Basin Plan is refusal of the
implementing body, the Murray-
Darling Basin Authority, to
accept its failings.
The plan and the authority
have serious inadequacies, yet
there is a reluctance to accept
them or do anything to fix them.
At a number of recent meet-
ings MDBA staff, following
questions from the public, hid
behind the excuse that their
hands were tied by legislation.
This was again highlighted by
MDBA CEO Phil Glyde when
he recently responded to pub-
lic comments from a meeting
in Deniliquin and denied the
MDBA acknowledged that “the
environment takes precedence
ahead of communities and con-
sumptive water users”.
Anyone who knows the
slightest detail about Basin Plan
implementation fully under-
stands that this is the very issue
at the core of its failings.
It was recognised by the
Senate Inquiry into the plan
last year which subsequently
recommended: “The committee
recommends that the govern-
ment amend the Water Act 2007
to make clear the equal standing
of economic, social and envi-
ronmental needs and outcomes.”
Further, the Commonwealth
Environmental Water Holder
David Papps has publicly stated
on a number of occasions that
due to the legislation he must
give primacy to the environment
over the social and economic
considerations each and every
time. It is almost impossible to
understand how Mr Glyde could
deny this undeniable fact.
I have no doubt the 20
per cent of people who have
lost their jobs in towns in the
Northern Basin (as per MDBA
Northern Basin review) would
attest to this, as would those who
have lost jobs in the Goulburn
Valley (estimated in one report
at 1000) and the NSW Murray
It’s quite ironic that Mr Glyde
has been calling for “balance”,
which is precisely what the
Basin Plan is not delivering to
our rural communities. I can
only hope that the Victorian and
NSW Governments strengthen
their resolve to stand up for their
rural constituents who are being
adversely affected by this disas-
As the MDBA’s charter dic-
tates that it is supposed to be an
independent body free of polit-
ical influence, it is a shame Mr
Glyde won’t publicly acknowl-
edge the Basin Plan’s deficien-
cies and call on all governments
to find effective, mature solu-
tions that deliver an indisputable
balanced triple bottom line,
and once and for all correct the
damaging political rhetoric that
revolves around this bad plan,
including the extra 450GL.
Power prices hitting
THE ABC’s 7:30 Report has
nailed the dangers for rural com-
munities of sky-rocketing energy
prices with rural reporter Lucy
Barbour’s story last week.
The ABC 7:30 Report story
highlighted a tripling of electric-
ity prices and the likely loss of
jobs in Bundaberg.
The problem of Australia’s
power prices is now much more
than just a strain on the hip
pockets of Australian families
it is a direct threat to health
and competitiveness of the
“Irrigated agriculture has been
bearing the brunt and if they
continue to be ignored by power
suppliers and the regulator then
we will see jobs and production
NICs Energy Committee chair
and Bundaberg Canegrower’s
general manager, Dale Holliss,
summed up the direct local
impact, saying that if power pric-
es stay too high then one option
is to “switch off the pumps and
go back to dry land and that
impacts upon the productivity of
the region and impacts upon jobs
not only at the sugar mill, but
harvesting jobs and also jobs in
town: small businesses, butcher
shops, people like that”.
Some irrigators are making
the choice to move from the
electricity grid to diesel gener-
ators. I am not sure that anyone
would argue that moving from
Australian sourced renewable
or non-renewable power to an
imported fossil fuel is a good
The other option for cane-
growers, as Mr Holliss outlined,
is to switch off the pumps and
grow dry land cane. The impact
of that decision is stark. Irrigated
cane in the Bundaberg region
produces 90 to 100 tonnes per
hectare, dry land cane produces
40 – 45 tonnes. Halving the
region’s output means half the
number of harvesting and pro-
cessing jobs and half the income
coming in to the local economy.
That one decision could
result in 400 direct job losses in
milling, just in Bundaberg, with
many times that lost in flow-on
The scary thing is that the reg-
ulator has just approved a tariff
model which will see prices for
these producers continue to rise.
The message governments and
oppositions need to be hearing
is that if they want Australian
farmers producing goods for
Australian families they need to
act on electricity.
Chief executive officer
National Irrigators Council
PEOPLE have been consuming alcohol in
Berri’s dry zones for years.
It’s not rhetoric, nor sensationalism to say
so. Just the truth.
And everyone knows it.
The notorious section of median strip
part-way up Vaughan Terrace is too
frequently an unsavoury part of Berri’s main
It’s often populated with rowdy types
who think nothing of yelling expletives to
acquaintances across the road. Not a good
look – nor sound – for Berri.
More worrying is the occasional presence
of antagonistic and aggressive individuals,
seemingly spoiling for a fight if someone
accidentally looks sideways at them.
They could be affected by alcohol, drugs,
or both, but that shouldn’t matter. Locals
have a right to go about their business
without being accosted by trouble-making
ne’er-do-wells with nothing better to do.
The town’s dry zones exist for this very
They also serve to preserve what should
be the positive vibe of a small country
town’s shopping strip. From a shop owner’s
point of view, the area should invite custom,
not repel it.
At the moment, Berri’s dry zone is not
achieving that moderate goal.
However, enforcing dry zones at all times
may not necessarily be a simple matter.
One can only imagine how local police
feel when they front up to the same faces,
spouting the same filth and bile, week in,
week out, and challenging their authority,
It wouldn’t be fun.
Plus local police resources are limited
and enforcing a dry zone would often be
low on the list of priorities.
Perhaps the best thing locals can do is to
report any and all breaches of the dry zone
to police, along with examples of anti social
behaviour along that Vaughan Street hot spot.
A facile fix may not be possible, but the
community deserves a solution nonetheless.
I enjoyed reading Heather
Everingham’s column about
club swinging (‘An exercise in
endurance and toughness’,
Pioneer, 10/3/17). I hadn’t
heard that term used for many
years and her excellent article
brought back memories.
I feel sad and sorry for Shirley
from Loveday regarding her
Text Line contribution to recent
Murray Pioneers. In my opinion,
councillor Fuller’s reply to her
was rude and uncalled for.
Maybe a little PR wouldn’t go
astray? No wonder ratepayers
fail to attend Berri Barmera
Council meetings and don’t want
to be involved at all.
Last week I mentioned to an
office worker with Berri Barmera
Council that a painted parking
restriction line had weathered
and could effect gopher and
wheelchair access, particularly
with families and taxis loading
and unloading. The line had
been repainted within 48 hours.
Well done again, staff of Berri
I also don’t think William and
Denny streets are suitable for
the suggested upgrades (‘Berri’s
forgotten streets’, Pioneer,
I would’ve thought someone like
Stephen Lynch, and his fellow
Berri Barmera councillor Mike
Fuller, would’ve been ‘for’ rate
capping – at least before they
became councillors (‘Against
rate capping then, and now’,
Pioneer, 15/3/17). Good onya,
It’s great to see the new caravan
park at Waikerie is starting to
have cabins arrive for the soft,
unofficial opening at Easter. I
understand all sites and cabins
are booked out. It would be
great to inform the people of the
Riverland how much progress
has been made for the Easter
opening. Maybe many people
wouldn’t know a new caravan
park is even opening.
Time to enforce
Berri’s dry zone
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Editor: Paul Mitchell
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10 years ago March 16, 2007
RIVERLAND STORM ‘THANK YOU’
DAY: Riverlanders are invited to attend the
Renmark Storm Thank You Spectacular.
Renmark Paringa Council community
services manager Trudy Vesotsky said
although January’s storm damaged many
properties, it has failed to dent community
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6 OPINION www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, March 17, 2017
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