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The River News, Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 5
RIVERLAND West petrol prices
might be at a five-year low, but a
local politician has still welcomed
last week's announcement by
the Australian Competition and
Consumer Commission (ACCC) to
investigate petrol prices in regional
Petrol dipped to as low as $1.18 per
litre across the region last week, however
Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said
Riverland drivers were paying an "average
of 18 cents a litre more" for petrol than
"I'm pleased the consumer watchdog
ACCC has launched a formal investigation
into why rural and regional areas are not
seeing comparative reductions in petrol
prices with metropolitan areas," he said.
In December, the ACCC was given new
powers from Minister for Small Business
Bruce Billson to monitor unleaded petrol
prices, costs and profits.
As part of those directions, the ACCC
announced last week that it would inves-
tigate factors that drive petrol prices in
three regional areas.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the
studies would look at the cost of fuel in the
nearest port, transport and storage costs,
and wholesale, distribution and retail
costs, to explain prices and where money
is being made.
The first regional location will be an-
nounced in March, with the reports to be
delivered throughout the year.
Mr Sims said although the studies
would target three specific regional areas,
the impact would be widespread.
"After the three market studies in par-
ticular regional regions, we will be able to
draw lessons of wider relevance to other
regional markets," he said.
"We may find consumers and local
authorities in all regional areas will have
a better ability to understand what drives
their fuel prices."
Mr Sims said while "lags" were to be
expected in regional areas, the difference
between metropolitan and regional petrol
prices was increasing.
"In July 2014 the monthly average retail
price of petrol across regional locations
in Australia was 5.7 cents per litre higher
than prices in the five largest cities," he
"By December 2014 this difference had
increased to 17.6 cents per litre.
"While lags are expected, as older
stocks can take longer to run down in re-
gional locations, we would expect the falls
to be passed on reasonably quickly."
landowners have responded
positively to a recent
property fire risk audit, with
most now up to legislated
standards, according to the
District Council of Loxton
In August last year, inspec-
tions undertaken in the Riv-
erland West area saw 40 prop-
erties issued with bushfire
Under the Fire and Emer-
gency Services Act, landown-
ers were requested to com-
plete works to manage any fire
risk hazards on their property
within a certain timeframe.
About a month later, another
inspection showed while six
properties were now up to stan-
dard, a further 27 were non com-
pliant with the notices issued
the previous month.
A report to last Friday's
council meeting says DCLW
again wrote to property owners
requesting the work be com-
pleted before another round of
Those property visits were
recently completed and revealed
that 21 properties were now
fully compliant with the notices
issued while 15 had partially
completed the work and five
Chief executive officer Peter
Ackland said he was pleased so
many landowners had taken
the time to make their property
"We are much more comfort-
able that the risks of fire have
been managed, but there's still
some work to be done," he said.
Mr Ackland said of the five
properties that remained non-
compliant, he expected a con-
tractor hired by council to com-
plete the fire prevention work
on behalf of the landowners on
just "one or two" properties.
"Of the five that are non-
compliant, three of those
changed hands about the time
we started talking to property
owners so we'll re-issue notices
to them," he said.
"We have got contractors
who will start the work on
the one or two properties that
haven't done the work.
"It will remain a charge
against the property and ac-
quire interest until it's paid."
Mr Ackland added that fol-
lowing last year's fires outside
of Renmark and the recent Ad-
elaide Hills fire, Riverland West
residents must have a plan to
protect their properties.
"If you read some of the
comments around the recent
Hills fire you hear people say
the didn't have a plan for the
property because they didn't
think anything would happen
in that area," he said.
"You just can't be compla-
"And that's why this year
we've been following through
so thoroughly with this pro-
cess... we're just encouraging
those people that could have
a potential fire risk not to be
A LOCAL man was rescued by
paramedics on Friday morning after
falling down a cliff at Taylorville on
The man fell about 10.30pm but was not
found until Friday morning by a passerby.
Local paramedics attended the scene
about 10am and used a boat to reach the
man on the other side of the river.
The man -- who has a fractured arm and
cuts to his legs -- was taken to Waikerie
airport and transferred to Royal Adelaide
Hospital in a stable condition.
WITH popular obstacle challenge
event True Grit set to hit later this year,
the District Council of Loxton Waikerie
(DCLW) has again agreed to support the
At Friday's council meeting, elected mem-
bers voted to endorse $4000 worth of in-kind
waste management support for the event,
which will be held in early May.
A sample survey of competitors conducted
by True Grit organisers estimated that more
than 500 people stayed at least two nights in the
region while competing in the event.
"It is an event that brings a lot of people
into the district," said council chief executive
officer Peter Ackland.
He added that councillors raised some con-
cern about the timing of the event, which falls
on the same weekend as the Riverland Rock 'n'
Roll Festival in Waikerie.
"Councillors moved a motion that any
potential support by council for future events
be conditional on True Grit organisers ac-
tively consulting council prior to scheduling an
event," he said. "What we're saying is that they
need to talk to us actively to make sure we have
the best result for the community."
Fire risk audit success: council
Man injured in fall
A local man was rescued by paramedics after a fall down a cliff at Taylorville last week and
was taken to Royal Adelaide Hospital by helicopter. PHOTO: Alexandra Lokan
Fuel prices being watched
Come and try the new menu & Salad Bar
Fired up over
sought to prevent blaze...
MIKE Arnold from the Waikerie Country Fire Service is concer ned about the hazards posed by around 350ha of dead citrus orchards in the Sunlands area. PHOTOS: Ryneisha Bollard
MOMENTUM is building for
a community effort to address the
serious fire threat posed by hundreds
of hectares of dead orange trees in the
District Council of Loxton Waikerie
(DCLW) chief executive officer Peter Ackland
will present a report to the general meeting
on Friday, March 21, outlining a community
approach to the issue.
The report follows several consultations
with the Country Fire Service (CFS),
including a deputation from representatives
Mike Ar nold and Richard Coombe at last
Mr Ackland has since met with SA CFS
director of preparedness operations Leigh
Miller, who told The River News she felt
council was taking its role in the matter
"Council is working through strategies
in partnership with the CFS to ensure
the relevant landholders undertake their
responsibilities, as defined under section
105F of the Fire and Emergency Services
Act 2005," she said.
Under the act, local councils are required
to issue war ning notices to landholders who
are considered to be harbouring fire hazards
on their properties.
If the notices are ignored, council has
the legislative right and obligation to
undertake works to address the hazards
and charge the considerable cost back to
CONTINUED PAGE 8
THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014
Ryneisha Bo ard
ROWS of dead trees line a property at Sunlands, where the local council is seeking to address
fire hazards presented by empty blocks.
THE River News, March 13, 2014.
THE Waikerie Gliding Club has
been praised for its efforts in hosting
this year's Australian Multi Class
National Gliding Championships
The competition ended on Friday
with a closing ceremony attended by 100
guests, where Loxton Waikerie Mayor
Leon Stasinowsky presented winners
with their trophies.
The open class was won by Ian Craigie,
of Queensland, who also won the trophy
for the fastest speed of 167km/h.
Waikerie Gliding Club president Bill
Mudge said competitors were impressed
with Waikerie's facilities and organisa-
tion of the event.
"It was a very successful and safe
event," he said.
"We had five flying days and we only
needed three for the championship.
"At the presentation many people
praised Waikerie and its facilities."
Mr Mudge said poor weather stranded
many gliders during the competition.
"We lost five days of flying from bad
weather," he said.
"It was the first time ever at a national
championships that this happened.
"The competitors were really under-
"On Monday, January 12, the champi-
onships broke another record when the
entire group of gliders didn't make it
back to the airstrip.
"The rain came earlier than expected
and gliders had to land in paddocks be-
tween Blanchetown and Loxton.
"This is the first time this has hap-
pened in 25 years at a national champion-
Matthew Scutter, 24, formerly of South
Australia, was among the stand out per-
formers winning the 15m class.
He is the current Australian junior
champion and it was his third national
RESULTS PAGE 19
Waikerie club glides into the record books
WAIKERIE Gliding Club's facilities have been praised after the local group hosted this
year's Australian Multi Class National Gliding Championships this month.
Council support ﬂows
for gritty event
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