Home' The River News : February 18th 2015 Contents 4 - The River News, Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Letters to the editor . . .
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fax 08 8541 3720
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Kaitlyn Opie - Editor al
Health for all South Aussies
WE often take our health for granted until we
become sick, or injured.
It is then that we realise how lucky we are to
have wonderful medical staff, including doctors,
nurses, paramedics and other specialists to care
for us and our loved ones.
Adequate and well equipped infrastructure is
vital to the health of South Australians, especially
in country areas where geographic locations mean
time is of the essence.
Last week I was privileged to sit with Emilie
Westerman and her daughter Jasmine, who cel-
ebrated her first birthday on Friday.
Jasmine was a premature baby and required
specialist care at Flinders Medical Centre, while
Emilie was also bed ridden because of delivery
The new mother did not get to see her baby
for the first 12 hours after birth because of limited
space in the neonatal intensive care unit.
I cannot imagine how heartbreaking that must
But at least the service, which is now under
threat of closing, was there. One year on, it was
wonderful to see Jasmine's cheeky smiles as she
played with her mother's car keys in The River
These moments are priceless.
We need to send a clear message to the State
Government that metropolitan health services,
including the Flinders NICU, are paramount to the
health of all South Australians.
Rural and regional people will not tolerate
being treated as second class citizens to save a few
dollars in the long run.
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Praise for top
Two of Waikerie's top stu-
dents in 2009 were rewarded
for their efforts during an official
ceremony at Government House.
Trephina Gartley and Brett
Sperling were among 755 South
Australian students who were
honoured for achieving top marks
in one or more of their South
Australian Certificate of Educa-
tion (SACE) subjects in 2009.
Waikerie's long awaited Skate
and BMX park opened last Satur-
day with hundreds of kids putting
the new facility to the test.
The $190,000 park attracted
community, council and govern-
ment support has been almost
three years in the planning and
building and represents the
dreams and wishes of Waikerie
youth, following a Youth Forum
held in 2002.
The first Dragon Boat race
regatta held at Waikerie attracted
about 1000 visitors, mostly from
the Adelaide metropolitan area.
Eleven crews, represent-
ing business and sporting clubs
took part in the racing and most
brought family and friends with
Racing conditions were per-
fect as the crew of 22 per boat
strained their way through the
round robin heats prior to the
Dragon boat races
attract crew and
Skate park gets
April 17, 1980
Mayor opens new civic centre
WELCOME to the cool change! I, like most,
have always loved summertime, long relaxing
days with beautiful sunsets at the close of day.
However, last week's heat, even though we are
near the end of summer was just too much. My
thoughts have been with the emergency services,
those working in workshops, factories or on build-
ings, out on the land picking fruit and the elderly,
particularly if they live alone.
The shock news during the past weeks that we
may be losing the Murray River Queen from our
river front has sent a wave of concern through our
community, particularly the business sector. Since
the Queen has been with us she has seen many
changes leading up to the present use as accom-
modation for backpackers: the workers who sup-
port our growers. Waikerie residents and visitors
to the region also enjoy the other service that the
Queen offers -- Wok on Water 's healthy Thai food.
Residents were pleased to learn of the success
of former resident Stuart Miller who has been
made a Member of the Order of Australia for his
service to medicine, his contribution to medical
foundations and photography. We congratulate
and acknowledge Stuart.
We also congratulate former Waikerie student
Janelle Slattery whom we watched with interest
as she excelled in swimming while here and then
after leaving her home town. An induction into
the Drury University's Sports Hall of Fame in the
United States is a most fitting award. Janelle is the
epitomise of commitment and proves if you want
something, you can achieve it.
During the past weeks our community has
farewelled several friends and family members.
We extend sympathy to Valda Parslow upon the
passing of her husband Ron. The community also
extends sincere sympathy to the family of David
Jolly especially his wife Joy. David will be missed
We acknowledge the recent passing of Ray
Spencer, a long-time Waikerie resident. We extend
sympathy to the family and friends of Josie Stein-
ert upon her recent passing. Josie will be missed
by her family and her many friends in the commu-
nity and at Warrawee.
Despite the hot weather, the Waikerie Market
on February 7 was a great morning and it was cool
under the trees. The fruit and vegetable stalls were
well stocked and we look forward to the next one
on March 7. While at the markets I was pleased to
catch up with former resident Greg Christiansen
who was here spending time with his mother
Daph. Back in Waikerie for a few days from Sydney,
Neil Gibbins was another former local appreciating
the market atmosphere and catching up.
Did you know that the Australian biscuit com-
pany Arnotts is celebrating 150 years? This is one
company that has survived all those years and
Australian households have over those years had
Arnotts biscuits in the tin. Whenever we holidayed
to Queensland at a relatives home Yo Yos were
always in the luggage. I am sure others had the
same requests from friends.
Thanks to all the poppy knitters throughout the
community. The exhibition In Flanders Fields opens
at the Rainmoth Gallery on March 1 at 2pm. Put
that in your diary now!
Thought for the week: "Humankind has not
woven the web of life. We are but one thread
within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to
ourselves. All things are bound together. All things
Family First says CFS claims true
I write in response to State Emergency
Services Minister Tony Piccolo's assertion in your
newspaper (February 11) that I was false in my
claim that he has refused to meet with the Country
Fire Service Volunteer Association.
My claim, made after actually meeting with
members of the CFS VA, was that the minister
refused to meet with the delegation in private to
discuss the concerns its members have about gov-
ernment plans to reform the emergency service
Instead of entering into a mature discussion
with the CFS VA -- which represents the 14,000
CFS volunteers who make up 80 per cent of the
volunteers in this state -- the minister will only
face them at a public meeting where questions are
required to be submitted ahead of time. A public
forum is not a one-on-one meeting.
The majority of volunteers are frustrated by the
path this Government is taking to get the reform
agenda through and are concerned about the ur-
gency in which they are trying to do it.
The volunteers tell me the public meetings have
been nothing more than the minister arriving with
a white board on which he tells them what he is
going to do.
And, despite six months of "consultation," Mr
Piccolo has still not presented the volunteers with
proper details of the merger or a business plan
to justify any upheaval to this state's emergency
It is not unreasonable that the volunteers want
to know why the Government is determined to
rush through the reform.
Nor is it unreasonable that they want to know
why the Government has advertised for a commis-
sioner to replace the current chief officers of the
CFS, State Emergency Service, Metropolitan Fire
Service and SAFECOM when there is no business
plan in place.
The Government may have agreed on changes
to emergency services but the community and the
volunteers have not.
Because of this lack of transparency, I am
moving for the Parliament to form a select commit-
tee to inquire into the Government's plans and for
the search for a commissioner to be stopped until
the inquiry is over.
I again ask Mr Piccolo to meet the volunteers in
private as requested.
Rob Brokenshire, MLC, Family First Party.
WE refer to Tom Loffler's letter to the
editor 'Cut through the tape' published in The
River News on 11/2/2015.
Following a phone call to Mr Loffler we
were advised the incident he refers to in-
volved the Loxton Men's Shed volunteering
to assist in the construction of the Loxton
Firstly, we want to correct the record, that
contrary to the letter, the Men's Shed volun-
teering did proceed and the 'Shedders' are
proud of their contribution to the playground.
Secondly, times have changed and volun-
teers now need to be given and follow instruc-
tions for their safety.
Council has a legal obligation to make
volunteers aware of these things when they
volunteer on council managed land. We are
trying to take a common sense approach and
make this as easy-as-possible while comply-
ing with our obligations and encouraging
This is not always an easy thing to achieve.
In terms of the Loxton Men's Shed and
council's volunteering relationship, we have
both signed a Memorandum of Understand-
ing covering off on this and other matters and
it is an accepted way for both our organisa-
tions to work together.
Volunteers and their contribution to our
community form the basis of many of the
community facilities that we take for granted.
Council is keen to encourage safe volunteer-
ing in a way that does not expose our rate-
payers to harm or those who work with as
District Council of Loxton Waikerie
Mayor Leon Stasinowsky and Dean
Kerley, Loxton Men's Shed president.
Letter of the week
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