Home' The Murray Pioneer : April 21st 2017 Contents Cycling off into
BEING a regular cyclist for
the past few years along the
Renmark/Paringa track with my
partner (both of us in the new
aged 50-something bracket), I
made the choice of cycling alone
one morning this week.
We ran into a fellow cyclist
who normally overtakes us
faster than the old 50mp/h mark
(he has the initials of ‘Personal
Best’) and is a leading cyclist in
Anyways, I was absolutely
stoked as I was able to exert a
little more pedal power without
my regular partner (no disrespect
intended). Riding side by side
with my new-found compatriot,
we discussed the weather, poli-
tics, how we could sort out the
problems of the world, and spe-
cifically the wonders and bene-
fits of living in the Riverland.
This new aged 50-something
was absolutely chuffed at being
able to keep up with this cycling
phenomenon at such a mega
pace and being only a teen-
sy-weensy bit breathless.
That is, until he decided it was
time for him to get out of bottom
gear. Never has a man’s ego
been so deflated as I watched
him effortlessly fading into the
Attend a Riverland
Anzac Day service
WHAT we remember, honour
and respect on Anzac Day goes
far beyond the historical mark-
ings of conflict in the name of
The word Anzac has shaped
our national identity, with strong
values in courage, mateship, and
sacrifice – something which still
resonates in our communities
That’s why I’m encourag-
ing people of all ages to attend
Anzac Day services across the
Riverland and Mallee to honour
those who served and died in all
wars, conflicts, and peacekeep-
ing operations for Australia.
I’ll be at services across the
region, paying my respects.
Each year we see more and more
youth attending these services
and it really is encouraging
to know they are interested in
learning about our history and
remembering those who fought
and the fallen.
The region had a number of
ex-service men and women who
played a large role in forming
our communities as they are
today and it is extremely impor-
tant that we acknowledge this
fact through the generations.
Member for Chaffey
IT was good to see two South
Australian councils introducing
common-sense motions at the
LGA ordinary general meeting
for April 21.
As a ratepayer of the Mitcham
Council area, their motion to
reintroduce verge parking is
Allowing vehicles to park
with two wheels on the road
verge in narrow streets is not
only safer but alleviates the
parking problems with smaller
A motion by City of Port
Adelaide Enfield to co-ordinate
public infrastructure works
between state, local and public
utility providers is also common
Roads being dug up a few
weeks after resurfacing to lay
services is wasteful.
Hopefully these motions are
supported and they are passed
and acted upon.
TWO Sundays ago, two Egyp-
tian churches were bombed,
killing over 40 Christians.
Day in, day out, an average of
over 250 Christians, worldwide,
are killed by terrorists.
In February 2016, the
European Parliament recognised
such killings as “genocide”.
In June 2016, the UN
Commission of Inquiry on Syria
recognised such killings as “gen-
In March 2017, the United
States House of Representatives
voted 383-0 to recognise such
killings as “genocide”.
The Australian government?
So far, no such recognition and
Last week, Australia’s
Michael Sukkar MP told Sky
News that “there needs to be a
political awakening and move-
ment for people who want to
practise their faith in peace”.
He called on parliament to
recognise these atrocities against
Christians as genocide.
If they don’t, it will be pretty
Nichols Point, Victoria
Is it payback
from my council?
THE general population con-
stantly has ‘issues’ with their
While they are perceived as an
integral part of our democracy,
I believe they can be very auto-
cratic, irrational and bullying.
I refer, in particular, to an ele-
ment of the ‘management’, who
very often seem to forget they
are just ratepayers like the rest of
us. In fact, they are there to serve
the ratepayers. Simple as that.
While this applies across
Australia, I will tell you a little
story set here in the Riverland,
where I live.
When you live on a dirt
road, enjoying the sounds of
silence, it is usually a welcome
sound when you hear a grader
approaching in the distance.
Well, that wasn’t the case a
few years ago when I wrote a
letter to the editors of several
Riverland newspapers, pertain-
ing to the grading of our access
It is a ‘no through road’, being
part of the boundary between
the Mid Murray and Loxton
There are only three perma-
nently occupied properties on
the road, and at the time, rarely
any weekend traffic.The most
regular user was my wife, who
walked its three kilometre length
In probably 99.9 per cent of
cases when rate paying citizens
complain to their councils about
road grading, it’s because they
rarely see a grader.
Well, my complaint was dif-
ferent – it was graded four times
in twelve months! Because of
the over enthusiastic grading,
dust was becoming a factor. One
of my neighbours suggested that
maybe the councils were using
our remote, sparsely populated
road for ‘grader driver training’,
but no... I often had a yarn to
drivers and they were all sea-
soned professionals, who were
only too happy to cooperate with
any small requests that we might
At the same time, the Loxton /
Waikerie council was bemoaning
the fact that they had insufficient
funds for works on the Loxton
riverfront. My letter simply
made the point that three quar-
ters of the expenses incurred in
grading our road four times a
year, could maybe go towards
upgrading work on the Loxton
riverfront. Just a thought.
A day or so after the letter
was published, I had a phone
call from the CEO of one of the
councils (a rare event), ques-
tioning my observations, and
that of my neighbours. I politely
pointed out that we all lived
on the road, and like the many
crows (ravens) that also live
here, were more than capable of
counting to four... or words to
that effect. I was informed that
if I could write to the council,
requesting just a yearly grade,
with the letter signed by all three
landholders, then we could have
That I duly did, and got on
with more productive and sat-
isfying activities, because I am
not a ‘smart aleck’ or ‘trouble-
maker’.. just one of a still small
minority that are not scared to
speak out at injustice, or when
‘the bureacracy’ gets ideas above
its station etc etc.
This all occurred nearly three
years ago. Since then, a grader
has never appeared down our
road. Perhaps one will arrive
soon. We will see.
So to my question. Is it ‘pay-
back’, or what?
Note: Rex Ellis’ outback
books are available online at
(safarico.com.au) or by phoning
POLITICIANS generally avoid picking
fights with their opponents over police,
particularly operational matters.
When situations become extreme, that
policy sometimes wavers, as we’re seeing
at the moment in Melbourne, where the
Victorian Opposition has – quite rightly
taken the government to task over the
Sudanese crime wave enveloping areas of
Governments are generally eager to
push the line that interfering with police
operational matters is off limits; that police
management should be as autonomous as
Understandably, MPs avoid criticising
police, as on-the-ground managers and staff
have little or no say in funding matters and
In recent weeks Member for Chaffey Tim
Whetstone has let fly with some carefully
directed barbs at SAPOL and the Police
The local member’s criticism has centred
mainly on the lack of information about
policing arrangements in the Riverland,
most recently details about a temporary
closure of front-office services in Berri,
SAPOL’s Riverland home base.
Mr Whetstone has obtained a copy of
an internal SAPOL email that states, quite
clearly, a management figure’s preference
for Berri’s front-office service to be
relocated to Barmera, rather than Renmark,
to avoid the Renmark community becoming
“accustomed” to the higher service level.
Mr Whetstone believes that directive is a
portent of things to come at Renmark; that
the station will be further downgraded.
He may or may not be correct.
However, the refusal to divulge even
basic information about the redevelopment
at Berri is doing both SAPOL and the Police
Minister no favours.
Where is the harm in clearing up a few
details about the renovation in Berri, and the
arrangements to be put in place during that
As mentioned in this column previously,
commercial considerations don’t come into
play here. We’re talking about a taxpayer-
funded service, so why the reluctance to
outline future plans?
In fact, getting onto the front foot about
the redevelopment would serve two positive
It would give the local community
the information it deserves, while also
extinguishing any negativity – possibly
stemming from rumours, informed or
otherwise – about future policing in the
People often grow suspicious in these
circumstances, probably needlessly, but how
would we know?
What a great Easter market on
the lakefront on Sunday. It’s the
best venue. It has more room for
easy parking and there were lots
of stalls, especially food. I’d like
to see all markets held there.
Well done to everyone
associated with the Barmera
Easter markets and the open-air
cinema afterwards. What a great
event. The sun was a bit bright
for some of the stallholders,
but none of them complained,
and they all helped make it a
wonderful day. We took our kids
along and they loved it. We’ll be
back next year.
RAE and RAY
In answer to your editorial (‘Send
in your bad driver Easter stories’,
Pioneer, 21/4/17), I was sitting
behind a car that pulled out near
Bassham’s corner in Barmera to
pass. It was only good luck that
On Sunday or Monday morning,
I can’t remember which one, a
green vintage car was travelling
very slowly to Renmark, from the
Berri direction. The elderly driver
insisted on driving half off the
road, rather than fully on it. This
made for a dangerous situation,
as those behind him weren’t
sure whether or not to pass. If
you’re driving on the road, stay
on the road. You might be trying
to do the right thing, but you’re
actually being very dangerous.
Wonder how many police were in
Loxton over the Easter weekend.
There seemed to be a lot of
cars speeding up and down
residential areas late into the
To the four teenagers who sat
on the balcony at the Renmark
Club, didn’t order anything
and brought their own entire
BBQ chicken and picked at
it, before leaving it on a table
surrounded by scraps and
bones – you need to learn some
respect and manners. There
are plenty of tables and chairs
around the town where you
could have eaten your food, or
you could have at least taken
your rubbish with you. For a
Renmark Club staff member to
have to pick up your leftovers is
unacceptable and not their job.
Most teenagers are good kids
but ones like you give the rest of
them a bad rap.
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
PO Box 832, Renmark, SA, 5341
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0448 629 186
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The editor reserves the right to edit all letters.
6 OPINION www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, April 21, 2017
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Dose Of Dorin
why so secret?
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