Home' The River News : January 14th 2015 Contents 4 - The River News, Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Letters to the editor . . .
mail PO Box 101, Waikerie, SA 5330
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Recent flooding across New
South Wales and Queensland has
re-ignited debate over management
of the Murray-Darling Basin.
Because of the location of
the floods, most of the water will
remain under NSW's control, as
specified in the current water shar-
5 Years ago
NSW, Queensland ﬂood
sparks war of words
10 Years ago
The Lions of zone 12 swept into
action following the tragic Asian
tsunami, which destroyed cities and
villages along the coastlines of many
Indian Ocean countries.
The Waikerie, Ridley, Truro and
Morgan Lions clubs responded im-
mediately to an appeal by the Lions
International and gave $3200 im-
mediately and all all have continued
their fund raising to support many
Lions club supports
20 Years ago
Member for Chaffey Kent
Andrew officially opened the new
Waikerie/Holder Bend clifftop walk-
way --- which stretches from the
current lookout tower at Waikerie
along the clifftop for a distance of
1.4km --- on New Year's Eve.
The centenary project was initi-
ated and constructed by the Rotary
Club of Waikerie in conjunction with
the Waikerie District Council.
Local MP opens new
Rotary clifftop walk
© Copyright warning: All advertising and
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and may not be reproduced, in whole or part,
without the written consent of the publisher.
NEW Year’s greetngs to all of the readers.
May our community and our region enjoy
progress and prosperity as we begin another
year of working together -- be it as volunteers,
educators, government/health workers, the
business sector or land owners growing some
of the best produce in the country.
We have and always will be grateful for those
dedicated volunteers who have given their all
to ﬁght the ferocious ﬁres in the Adelaide Hills
in recent weeks.
Thank you to all of you.
As we approach Australia Day, our
community support becomes evident as
volunteers plan and give support to the
Australia Day Extravaganza commitee to ensure
the success of our event, which is one of the
largest in regional South Australia.
This event gives the community the
opportunity to again congratulate those
dedicated members of our community -- Carole
Walker, who was awarded Waikerie Citzen of
the Year, Junior Citzen of the Year Dylan Ellis
and the commitee of the Waikerie and Districts
Community Flower Show as the best event for
Waikerie in 2014.
Please be aware that the Australia Day
Extravaganza is on Saturday, January 24.
This will enable other events, including
Australia Day breakfasts, to be held on the
The Australia Day Extravaganza commitee
is pleased to announce that the ambassadors
for the event are Bruce and Amanda Macky AO.
Bruce Macky is a former general manager
of Bank SA and former chief commissioner of
Amanda Macky OA is a former
businesswoman and former chief commissioner
of Girl Guides SA.
One of Waikerie's hidden gems, Benson
Park, has had many visitors over the past few
If you have friends who want to have a
country experience, perhaps an afernoon of
trail riding with horses, contact Ken at www.
bensonpark.net for further details.
Anyone who likes to knit or crochet is
welcome to join the group that will be at
the community hub, which is adjacent to the
Warrawee Lodge oﬃce, tomorrow
The group will be knitng and crochetng
poppies for the Anzac centenary, when wall
hangings will be on display.
Bring your knitng needles and paterns.
Wool will be supplied.
Let's do it for the Anzacs!
During the past couple of weeks we have
farewelled two of our community's well known
and respected residents.
We extend sincere sympathy to the family
of Mrs Phyl (Pippa) McGee upon her recent
passing. Pippa will be missed by her many
The community also extends sincere
sympathy to Edie Campbell -- dearly loved wife
of Ray, who passed away recently.
Ray will be missed by his many friends and
fellow Vietnam veterans.
We acknowledge and extend sincere
sympathy to the family of Mr John Hooper upon
his recent passing.
This Friday, January 16, Kirsty Smith, mother
of James Smith, will be having a spinning wheel
fundraiser at the Waikerie Club at 6pm to assist
with funds to enable James to atend the under
15 state hockey ttles at Hobart in April.
Your support would be appreciated, so call
in at the Waikerie Club with some friends and
you might be a winner.
How observant have you been over the past
couple of weeks?
Some of the readers have commented on
the colour of our local lagoons.
I have endeavoured to ﬁnd the answers, but
at this point in tme have found none.
For instance, Hart Lagoon has been a dull
green (maybe it has been an algae) and Ramco
Lagoon has been a dark red, almost brown
colour. That is a litle mysterious, too.
Now that we have had a shower or two of
rain, they may all be back to normal.
Take the tme to check out The Man Cave,
the present exhibiton at Waikerie’s Rain Moth
This exhibiton will be on for the next few
weeks. Don't miss it!
May I extend to Ryneisha Bollard my sincere
thanks for the tme she has been at The River
Ryneisha has become actvely involved with
the community, its events and commitees, and
has found tme to atend various local functons.
We wish her well in her next venture at The
Monitor in Roxby Downs.
Thought for the week... There is so much in
the world for us all, if we only have the eyes to
see it, and the heart to love it, and the hand to
gather it together to ourselves.
Ryneisha Bol ard - Opin o
Thank you, Waikerie, and goodbye
IT has been a privilege to call Waikerie my
home for the past 15 months, but now it is
unfortunately tme to say goodbye.
I have been impressed with the resilience and
hard work of the Riverland West residents I have
met, and have appreciated their welcoming and
It is never easy adjustng to life in a new town
--- even if I had only moved here from Berri, just
40 minutes away. It was even more challenging
taking on an editor role after working as a
journalist and later deputy editor at The Murray
Pioneer for nearly three years.
I was therefore appreciative of any help
locals could provide in terms of story ideas,
organising photographs and getng a ‘lay of
A country newspaper is only ever as good as
the community supportng it, and in the case of
The River News I have been fortunate to have
had the assistance of various locals who actvely
engage in the development of their area.
Staff at the District Council of Loxton
Waikerie have also been very patent with my
many inquiries, and this has helped ensure that
my council reports have been as thorough and
accurate as possible.
I will miss my tme as a Waikerie Rowing
Club and Riverland West Chamber of Commerce
commitee member, as both groups are made
up of dedicated volunteers whom I feel grateful
to have known.
Thanks are also owed to the community
and sportng groups who were never afraid to
approach me about potental coverage in the
My colleague Jayme and I have always
strived to follow up on any newsworthy ideas
presented to us, and we are heavily reliant on
locals showing this initatve.
I wish all the best to my former Pioneer
colleague Alexandra Lokan as she takes on
the editor role here before a permanent
replacement begins in the coming weeks.
I am confident that, if the same level of
support is shown to the new editor that I
have received, The River News will contnue to
ﬂourish as an important source of local news.
A risky business
I LIVED on Kangaroo Island with my family for 10 years
We had a farm that incorporated the headwaters of the
Ravine des Casoars, and backed onto the second highest
cliffs in Australia, near Cape Torrens.
We ran sheep, but also camels and, for a period, water
During the summer months I would operate one-day
camel treks on our property and along the cliffs, and also
five-day treks into Flinders Chase National Park.
George Lonzar and Chris Baxter, the rangers at the time,
gave me great help and co-operation in this venture.
During these five-day treks, particularly in late summer,
I would sometimes come across platypuses in the string
of water holes that the Rocky River would become at that
time of year.
Once I found a dead one, kilometres from water, on a
track north of there. When I talked to George Lonzar about
this, he told me that he had been trying unsuccessfully to
convince the national park hierarchy in Adelaide to let him
relocate some platypuses to the north, in the Breakneck
River and Ravine Creek (which flowed the whole year).
He argued that many young platypuses perished trying
to find a new habitat when "kicked out of home" by their
parents. It was frustrating to George that this commonsense
idea could not be implemented, because he too had found a
number of dead platypuses north of the Rocky River system.
I thought about this, and decided to give nature a help-
ing hand. I didn't mention this to George or Chris.
A couple of weeks previously I had seen several platy-
puses in water holes, on the top end of the Rocky River,
when I was camped nearby with the camels.
One Saturday night I informed Patti that I would be going
birdwatching (which I often did) very early on the Sunday
morning. I climbed out of bed an hour before daylight,
hopped in my Peugeot and drove down the ‘shackle road’
to the Rocky River.
Leaving the car I walked into a spot less than half a kilo-
metre away, between two water holes.
I had with me my binoculars and an old jute wool pack.
I made myself comfortable on top of a three metre bank
located between two drying up water holes.
The birds were good, but there was not a sign of a platy-
pus. The sun was well and truly up, and with a new regime
at the chase I wasn't keen to get caught with a wool pack
on my person. I was not sure how I would have explained
I was about to leave when, to my astonishment
and delight, I observed a small brown animal making
its way from the lower water hole to the top one.
You could describe my emotions as a mix between exhilara-
tion and guilt!
When the platypus was below me in the sandy creek
bed, I launched myself off the bank, holding the wool pack
out in front -- I felt a bit like Batman.
I landed next to the animal and covered it with the
I couldn't believe it. Making sure it was secure, I made
my way back to the car, putting the bundle on the rear seat.
I drove back up the track to the ‘shackle gate’.
I opened my door, got out, opened the gate and drove
through. I got out again and closed the gate. I took only
seconds each time. I drove the 10 minutes to our place, and
told Patti and the kids to follow me down to a bush dam in
the Ravine Creek below our house.
I then took the wool pack out and opened it up. Noth-
ing! How could this be?
I searched the car thoroughly, and still nothing. Then, I
noticed a small piece of dark hair protruding from the facia
near the glove box.
It must have got out of the wool pack, while I was inside
telling the girls to come down to the creek.
I undid the whole facia of the Peugeot, and there was
our animal. It was about half grown and a female.
I carefully took it and placed it near the edge of the
water hole, where it straight away scuttled in and disap-
Ten minutes later it broke the surface with a yabby in its
bill. How good was that! Many a morning and evening after
this we would sit in the scrub above the hole and enjoy a
wonderful floor show.
Before I could find a mate for it, there was a big rain and
the creek flooded. I never saw the platypus after that and
presumed it went further down, nearer to the coast, where
there were larger pools.
Hopefully by now there are others there, but I'm not
holding my breath.
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