Home' The River News : March 4th 2015 Contents 4 - The River News, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Letters to the editor . . .
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Big drug bust
A lengthy investigation by
Riverland detectives resulted in a
major drug bust.
a property south-west of
Blanchetown and discovered 68
mature cannabis plants.
They also located a small
camp site and one male occu-
At a small ceremony last
Wednesday morning about 20
people witnessed the raising of a
flag at Waikerie to recognise 100
years of Rotary.
The worldwide service or-
ganisation started officially in
Chicago on February 23, 100
years ago, when four business-
men met initially to expand their
Private contractors will
operate four ferries on a 12
month trial basis, including two
in the local area.
Member for Ridley Peter
Lewis said contracts had been left
for ferries at Narrung, Purnong
Waikerie and Cadell.
"Tenders were called last year
and this generated considerable
Local ferries go
Rotary fies the fag of
success and service
Letters of the week
STATE Emergency Services Minister Tony
Piccolo, with all due respect, we know you have
travelled many kilometres around this state
talking to people.
But you are still providing them with nar-
rowly targeted, nebulous answers that don't
address their key concerns. Your reply to my
letter is a typical example.
You have suddenly decided to change tack
and announce that the position of chief of-
ficer and the SAFECOM structure are being
retained, only days before a Select Committee
is to investigate aspects of the emergency
services sector reform. You've known the vol-
unteers' resolve for months.
But what is the devil in the detail? The
chief officer is just a name change from an as-
The chief officer will still be answerable in
all facets of operations to the commissioner. I
quote from the role statement for the new com-
missioner -- "Exercising strategic command
during the management of major emergencies
and incident". This is not acceptable.
You are transferring key Country Fire Ser-
vice functions and putting them into the South
Australian Fire and Emergency Services Com-
What have you based this decision on? The
Emergency Services Reform Office (ESRO)
hasn't even set up the working groups and you
are making decisions.
I highlight to the public that the minister's
reply to my letter is a perfect example of what
is creating suspicion and frustrating CFS
He continues with political spin and avoids
answering questions. Why did Mr Piccolo
not respond to my questions of the new com-
missioner's powers and the importance of a
Why will only two people will make the
final decision on the design of the new sector
model without any consultation, and what
financial costings or business case has been
prepared to substantiate and support any of
these decisions or proposals?
The whole community deserves to hear
these answers, not just a few in my group.
David Lindner, CFS Volunteers
Association Riverland branch president
Support Red Cross Calling
AS Australia prepares to commemorate
the landing of the first Anzac troops at
Gallipoli 100 years ago, we ask that you
also remember the work of Red Cross by
supporting Red Cross Calling this March.
Just like the thousands of Red Cross vol-
unteers who worked so hard to support the
Anzac troops in 1915, Red Cross volunteers
still continue to care for those who need it
By making a donation or organising an
event for Red Cross Calling during March,
you can support the everyday work of Red
Cross such as such as working in bushfire
relief and recovery centres, supporting
elderly and vulnerable people by transport-
ing them to vital appointments, or teaching
English to new arrivals.
In years to come, many people will con-
tinue to turn to Red Cross for help in times
of crisis and we're determined to be there
when they do.
Red Cross Calling is the one time of year
when local Red Cross members, commu-
nity groups, schools and individuals can all
work together to raise money for Red Cross
through local fundraising events.
To make a donation, or to find out how you
can get involved with Red Cross Calling visit
www.redcrosscalling.org.au or call 1800 008 831.
Red Cross executive director SA
Feral animal debate
SOME cat related problems are because
of inadequate owners.
Opinions vary as to District Council of
Loxton Waikerie cat by-laws.
Item 74 of the Dog and Cat Management
Act 1995 says: "a person may lawfully seize,
detain, destroy or otherwise dispose of any
cat found in a place that is more than one ki-
lometre from any genuinely used as a place
For cat by-laws to be effective, there is
a need for council monitoring to ensure
Cat by-laws should be similar to dog by-
laws in regards to licensing fees, compliance
requirements and non-compliance penalties.
Tom Loffler, Waikerie
Waikerie women working for
prisoners of war
THE Waikerie Anzac committee has only
found reference to the Waikerie women in
Red Cross who were working to raise funds
for the prisoners of war 1916 are is seeking
Our hospital was not built so we gather
that's why we didn't have any nurses.
But it would be really interesting to hear
from anyone in the community who may
know more about Waikerie women's efforts
in World War I.
People can contact RSL Waikerie sub-
branch secretary Loraine on 0407 256 673,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the sub-
branch's new Facebook page. Penny Smith
Waikerie Anzac committee
Garden club news
WAIKERIE and District Garden Club's
February meeting featured a presentation
from Lyn and Lochert on salvias, with a DVD
to show us how beautiful and hardy these
The club's next meeting will be March 10
at the Ramco Institute at 7.30pm.
Guest speaker Wendy Hensel will discuss
pets in the garden.
We urge everyone to come along and have
a listen as most people have pets of some
Do not forget your flower of the month
Please put in your diaries the bus trip on
March 22 to Cynthia and Graham Nichol-
son's garden at Strathalbyn.
Payment of $55 includes morning and
afternoon tea, lunch and entry to the garden.
Payment to Pat Brandon or Margaret
Thiel is required before March 12, with the
trip to leave from TAFE at 8am sharp.
The annual meeting will be on April 8 at
7.30pm at the Ramco Institute.
Loraine Summers will speak about Waik-
erie's community produce swap program.
Subs will be due and new members are
Yours in gardening,
Waikerie and District Garden Club
ON Sunday afternoon the
Rainmoth Gallery was the
place to be as the exhibition
In Flanders Fields was officially
Allison Smith did the hon-
ours on behalf of Waikerie
Legacy Ladies Group. We were
entertained by Tim Strauss, our
talented local bush poet, and
Warren Hardiman who present-
ed a haunting and emotional
rendition of Eric Bogle's (And the
band played Waltzing Matilda).
This exhibition will be part of
Waikerie's Anzac Trail which will
include the RSL and the library.
There will be a brochure avail-
This is a must see for all to
welcome friends and family back
to Waikerie while these exhibi-
tions are on display as we in this
community acknowledge and
remember all who have given
service in all wars so that we can
live free in Australia.
The Waikerie Markets will
operate at Waikerie Civic Centre
lawns on Saturday.
Come and meet friends for a
tasty breakfast, or some of Con's
delicious homemade pasties
or jelly cakes, while giving your
support to locals.
The Waikerie community
extends sincere sympathy to the
family and friends of Eric Boehm
who passed away recently.
Mr Boehm was an excep-
tional man who loved the land,
what it could produce for us to
eat and enjoyed pleasure from
flowers from the garden.
Good luck to all the fisher-
men, women and children in
the Riverland West Fisherama
competition this weekend at
Ramco Point. It begins at 8am,
with winners announced at 6pm
at Ramco Football Club.
I recall how popular the Apex
Fisheramas were back in the
70s. They were held annually
and hundreds of competitors
came from all over the state
and beyond. My mother was a
winner one year of the biggest
fish from the bank. Her prize
was an aluminium boat, a big
prize back then.
We all like a feel-good story
and during February former
Waikerie resident Maureen Sy-
monds was invited to a spe-
cial birthday with friend, Ruth
Powell, who lives in an aged care
home in Adelaide.
All Ruth wanted was to cel-
ebrate her 102nd birthday at the
As Maureen was purchasing
her entry ticket to the zoo she
mentioned to the staff member
why she was visiting.
Within a short while a birth-
day cake arrived compliments
of Zoo SA.
Ruth (pictured above with
Maureen) had her entry fee
refunded and the story went on
the Zoo SA Facebook page with
One of the many questions
Waikerie residents have asked
over many weeks is why aren't
there more signs to let visitors
know what Waikerie has to
They are astounded at the
friendliness, and our river front
when they do come off the high-
way and into our community.
Thought for the week: "En-
joying a cup of tea is not like
taking a summer holiday or
going to a retreat. It is an island
of calm you can reasonably visit
in the course of your busy day".
CFS volunteers consultation
I WRITE in response to David Lindner,
CFS Volunteers Association Riverland branch
president, about the emergency services sector
reform (River News, 25/2/15).
I thank him for his interest and engagement
in the reform process.
With regard to his concerns about consulta-
tion, over the last eight months I have held 33
round tables across the state and visited over
40 CFS, SES and MFS brigades, units, stations
or flotillas, speaking with more than 2000 staff
This included two meetings in the River-
I have recently announced changes to the
proposed sector structure that will retain the
chief officer positions to provide leadership in
the operational stream of the three services.
This is in response to feedback I have re-
ceived during the consultation process.
However, the non-operational areas -- like
asset management and human resources -- will
be moved into the South Australian Fire and
Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM).
This will mean less duplication across the
emergency services sector, which in turn will
allow for more efficiency to provide better ser-
vices to the front line.
The current SAFECOM board will also be
retained in the wwshort-term until a final
sector model has been developed.
The reform of the sector will continue and
the goal is, as it always has been, to provide
the best service to protect the community and
maximise support for our personnel on the
As always, I'm happy to speak with Mr
Lindner, members of his group or any group
to provide additional information.
State Emergency Services Minister.
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