Home' The Murray Pioneer : March 24th 2017 Contents Well after reading the Pioneer
on Tuesday it looks like I will
have to sell my home and
move into Riverside Estate just
to be able to take advantage
of the new recreation centre
that is going to be built there
(‘Riverside’s new $1.5m rec
centre’, 21/3/17). Come on
Renmark Paringa Council, lift
your game and spend some
money on the recreation centre
need of updating; the equipment
is old and the whole area is not
very inviting. For the amount
of money that is required for a
membership you would think
that an upgrade was affordable.
Yes, Chris, noticed the $76,000
salary and decided I might put in
for the VIC job in Renmark too.
I also noticed that you have to
apply to a ‘people and culture
officer’ at the council for the job.
That means they’d be getting
paid more than the VIC person.
Maybe I should put my hand up
for that job too, whatever it is?
Why is the Tower Tavern bridge
still blocked off? Where is the
right of way/easement gone?
That old chestnut, Trev of
Renmark (Text Line, 21/3/17).
Come on, get real. Labor has
had 15 years to come up with
a plan. They were warned years
ago that more than 20 per cent
wind without storage would
destabilise the grid.
Cr Fuller is still a representative
of the Berri Barmera Council,
it seems. Lucky I had a cup
of coffee to keep me awake
reading the letter from Cr Fuller
regarding the text from Shirley of
There’s a few more carp in the
river (‘Carp explosion’, Pioneer,
21/3/17). So what? Couldn’t
the Pioneer find anything more
important for the front page?
I don’t think Linc Gore’s
approach to problem solving of
the rubbish and cigarette butt
situation in Wade Street, Berri, is
the way to go (‘About anti social
behaviour in Berri, Pioneer,
21/3/17). Yelling at the lady in
the BMW to pick up her cigarette
will only add to the already anti
social behaviour. Nobody likes
to be yelled at. Lucky she didn’t
ride a Harley Davidson.
Can anyone explain to me why
the flag in front of the Renmark
police station has been flying at
half mast for at least a week?
In my mind it is disrespectful to
have a flag at half mast except
when someone has died.
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
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PO Box 832, Renmark, SA, 5341
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The editor reserves the right to edit all letters.
4 OPINION www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, March 24, 2017
Smokes and grog,
or your power bill?
I AM a little tired of house-
holders complaining about their
We recently got ours. For 92
days we paid $358, meaning we
paid $3.98 per day.
For the same period in 2015
we paid $270 for 88 days, a cost
per day of $3.06.
This is a rise of 92 cents per
day, or approximately 30 per
cent. That is a lot.
Now, it stands to reason that
no one likes their power bill, but
where would we be without elec-
tricity? It would have to be the
most convenient thing that we
have in our homes.
Turn off the power and see
how you like it.
Many of the people who are
complaining, smoke all sorts and
drink alcohol, and they are only
on a low or modest income.
The answer to their problem is
simple: stop wasting your money
on rubbish you don’t need, such
as smokes, grog, tattoos etc.
Every time you get the urge to
smoke, drink or gamble, put $20
into a tin for the power bill.
Remember, there are people
who can afford to smoke, drink
and gamble, and there are those
If you can’t pay your power
bill, then you cannot afford to
smoke. Sit down and work out
how much it costs you in smokes
and alcohol per week. Be pre-
pared for a shock.
I have an acquaintance who,
by his own admission, spends
$180 a week on smokes.
That amounts to $9360 a
year, not to mention the grog he
drinks. Let’s say a carton of beer
a week. That’s 52 weeks times
$45 per carton. That comes
to $2340 per year. Add that
to the smokes money, and it’s
$11,700 a year – and that equals
$585,000 in 50 years.
I have been told that he is not
a very heavy smoker and drinker.
Some smoke away up to $240 a
week and drink two cartons or
more of beer in a week.
That’s around $330 for
smokes and booze a week, or
$17,160 per year.
If a person keeps this up for
50 years, it would come to a
staggering amount of $858,000
in 50 years (if he or she lives that
If you are one of those people
on a low income or welfare, you
can’t afford to feed and clothe
your children, your car is a bomb
and you can’t pay the rent, then
you need some help to reassess
It all comes down to good
financial management, priorities
and good old common sense.
Don’t look at those who have
a disposable income of, say,
$1500 a week. They can afford
things that you don’t need, and
they can do things that you can’t
It is called living within your
Such is life.
State Bank led
TREV from Renmark (Text
Line, Pioneer, 21/3/17)
mentioned our electricity power
was sold under the Olsen Liberal
Government and then ensued by
giving Jay Weatherill a high five.
I am by no means an apologist
for the Liberal Party, however
for the sake of veracity one of
the biggest economic disasters in
South Australian history was the
$3.2 billion debt left in the wake
of the collapse of the State Bank
during the stewardship of the
In 1998 under the Liberal
Government, with the support
of two Labor defectors and Nick
Xenophon, the legislation was
passed to sell ETSA because of
the enormous and ongoing State
Armed with the knowledge
of the above catastrophe, one
must surely question the wisdom
of today’s State Government in
making the decision to rely so
heavily on renewables, specifi-
cally taxpayer-subsidised wind
In the process, the
Government shut down coal
production in Leigh Creek
and subsequently closed and
demolished the Port Augusta
The Premier has the unique
ability to speak easily and con-
fidently in a way that makes
people want to listen and believe
However, look at the power
outages in the latter part of last
year, the enormous cost of con-
sumer electricity through the
state’s reliance on 40 per cent
renewable energy, the Premier’s
judgement to kill off fossil fuel
before clean energy industries
are able to replace them, and
now the latest fix with the deci-
sion to build a gas-fired power
We in voterland might very
well ask will Liberal, Labor,
Cory Bernardi’s Australia
Conservatives, Nick Xenophon’s
SA Best Party or Pauline
Hanson’s One Nation Party have
a creative power induced ‘think-
a-thon in residence’ for the 2018
Or perhaps we should all get
zapped and revisit Back to the
Future with a resurrection of
coal mining at Leigh Creek and
power generation at
I WELCOME the cautious
Basin water ministers seem to
be expressing following their
meeting in Mildura last Friday.
With some rapidly approach-
ing deadlines, irrigators and
Basin communities still have a
long way to go before they can
feel secure about their futures,
however Friday’s meeting does
appear to have taken a few posi-
That’s appropriate for a meet-
ing held in a city which proudly
boasts of being ‘Australia’s first
National Irrigators’ Council
urges ministers to focus on out-
comes not just water targets and
we were pleased to have been
able to join with farmers and
local government in making that
point to ministers at their stake-
holder round table.
We also strongly emphasised
the need for the community
impact test associated with the
450GL of so-called ‘up water’
to be broadened to consider
whole community impacts rather
than impact on a single prop-
erty owner. Work done by the
Victorian and NSW governments
seems to have made a very pos-
itive contribution to the commu-
nity impact debate.
Comments made by the
ministers after the meeting
also appear to give grounds
for cautious optimism on the
capacity to deliver a full suite of
projects to achieve the equivalent
of 650 gigalitres in offsets.
That would mean no further
water would need to be pur-
chased from farmers to achieve
the plan’s 2750 GL target –
again very welcome, and critical
if basin communities are to avoid
further detrimental reduction in
There remains several impor-
tant issues which don’t appear
to have progressed much at this
meeting. That includes comple-
mentary measures, dealing with
system constraints and structural
Implementing the Basin Plan
is complicated and it will remain
a contentious work in progress
for some years, but it is good to
see a productive result from this
Chief executive officer
National Irrigators’ Council
IN years to come, locals might look back on
Berri Bowling Club’s decision to relocate
to Glassey Park as the turning point in the
town’s tourism status.
The club’s move set off a chain of events
likely to contribute to a transformation of
the stretch of river front between Vaughan
Terrace and the caravan park.
Has it been by design or by accident?
Perhaps a bit of both.
After the bowling club vacated its
Riverview Drive base, Berri Barmera
Council stepped up with a plan to establish
a river-front development, featuring mainly
Twenty-five allotments were established,
with Berri Hotel Group purchasing four of
the allotments before a scheduled auction.
The remaining 21 allotments went
to auction, but the community failed to
respond, leaving all properties on the market.
The council copped plenty of criticism for
how the planned development was handled,
mostly focused on the allotments’ price tag
and size – or width, to be more precise.
Since then, the Berri Hotel Group has
purchased another 15 of the allotments,
and announced plans to create long-term
The council has meanwhile unveiled its
own vision for the area, including narrowing
a section of Riverview Drive to make it more
user-friendly for people on foot.
It makes sense. Anyone unaware of
Riverview Drive’s past life as a waiting
zone for the town ferries would consider it
Indeed, while the Berri Hotel is
considered a river-front property, it’s actually
set a distance off the river, unlike the
Renmark Club, for example. If the hotel was
rebuilt today, the desire would be to move it
much closer to the water.
All of which means, a re-imagining of the
area by council is welcome.
This week more plans for the area have
been unveiled, by the Berri Caravan Park.
As part of a $1.7 million expansion,
dormitory-style accommodation will
be constructed at the park, boosting the
facility’s capacity and its appeal.
It all adds up to the puzzle pieces falling
into place quite nicely for Berri’s prime
stretch of river-front land.
Who knows what the area might look like
in five, 10 or 20 years?
If it’s a vibrant, attractive, important
and valuable slice of both the town and the
Riverland, that success might be traced back
to the bowling club’s relocation.
Berri by design,
or by accident?
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