Home' The River News : March 18th 2015 Contents 4 -- The River News, Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Letters to the editor . . .
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A ceremony will be held at
the old Council Chamber garden
to mark 100 years since Waikerie
was officially proclaimed.
All community members are
invited to the occasion.
During the ceremony, District
Council of Loxton Waikerie Mayor
Dean Maywald will unveil a Proc-
Telstra Country Wide has an-
nounced that ADSL broadband
will be available from next week.
This follows an announce-
ment made last November by
Telstra Country Wide that the
Waikerie exchange would be
upgraded to accept broadband
At the time of the announce-
ment it was expected that the
service would be available within
a few months.
The chairman of the
Riverland Wine Grape
Growers Council of the South
Australian Farmers Federation
Michael Himsworth described
the industry commissions (IC)
recommendations for a tax hike
on wine and brandy as a "sell
out" on the Riverland and other
irrigated wine production regions
Riverland sold out on
Broadband here next
Letters of the week
I HAVE worked with many others for years
across South Australia to help remove the
stigma of suicide and make the issue part of
everyday conversation in our community.
As such it was with great disappointment
that I learned of the recent press conference
where the Federal Member for Fairfax and
Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer said
the Prime Minister would 'commit suicide
Tony Abbott, you know'.
I was also alarmed that after Mr Palmer's
comments, both he and his PUP Senate col-
leagues laughed and grinned about his remark.
Suicide is not a joke or some kind of punch-
line that a misguided politician can roll out to
emphasise a point.
It is a real issue that affects thousands of
Australians every year. In fact, recorded deaths
by suicide are more than double that of the
national road toll.
For a so-called community leader to use
such language to take a cheap shot at the na-
tional leader is not only offensive to me, but to
all those who have been affected by suicide and
those who work tirelessly to prevent it.
Ridiculous and harmful comments such as
Mr Palmer's only serve to reinforce the stereo-
types of the past that prevented many in our
community from seeking the life-saving help
Mr Palmer attempted to correct himself
on social media, proclaiming he meant for the
Prime Minister to go and commit 'political
suicide', as if to infer that language was any
Whatever his intent, the fact is as an elected
representative of the community Mr Palmer
should know better.
Regardless of his Twitter apology, I believe
the message from most Australians to him now
is simply that 'suicide can impact any family,
at any time'.
John Dawkins, Liberal Spokesperson
for Suicide Prevention.
Editor's note: If you, or someone you know
is struggling, call Lifeline Australia for sup-
port on 13 11 14.
WAIKERIE Ladies Probus
Club committee wishes to
advise members and interested
non-members that as of March
24 our monthly meetings will
start at 9.30 am.
Please note the new time for
meetings. Next Tuesday will also
be our annual meeting.
Our community thanks
Waikerie Rotary Club and
Waikerie High School for the
excellent evening at the Rotary
Continental Food Fair on Saturday
at the Civic Centre gardens.
It began as a warm, balmy
evening with the sun beaming
down until dusk and lots of tasty
and delicious food for all to enjoy.
The entertainment and activ-
ity section for the children was
kept busy throughout the eve-
ning, and although many groups
enjoyed the opportunity to catch
up with friends, the bands and
the students who participated
with the entertainment were
appreciated by all.
Best wishes and happy birth-
day to Rose Krollig who last week
celebrated her 99th birthday
with family and friends. Rose is a
resident at Karingal Hostel where
she is loved and admired by all
who know her.
Congratulations to Kristi
Griffiths upon her completion of
a Doctorate of Philosophy.
Many Waikerie residents in-
cluding her former teachers' have
admired Kristi's attitude to life
in helping others, her work ethic
to study and wish her well in her
Riverland businesses have the
opportunity to attend work-
shops until May 25 that will give
support with marketing, finance,
customer service and website
These workshops are a joint
initiative of Hub Australia and Re-
newal SA. People can visit www.
au for more information.
The 'Made in the Riverland'
program is designed to activate
our main streets.
Thought for the week: "If we
are to achieve a richer culture,
rich in contrasting values, we
must recognise the whole gamut
of human potentialities, and
so weave a less arbitrary social
fabric, one in which each diverse
gift will find a fitting place." -Mar-
Kaitlyn Opie - Editor al
Promotng Waikerie with Roo
Free Trade message to Government
IT was easy to sense some relief when the Fed-
eral Government announced new criteria regard-
ing foreign ownership of our farms.
Foreigners would now have to be approved by
the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) if
they planned to buy farmland worth more than $15
million. This figure was reduced from the previous
trigger value of more than $200 million.
But what are the exceptions to the new rules?
The Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) which are
sought after by so many, do not simply deal with
the trade of commodities between countries, as I
am sure most people thought.
For some reason the terms of the FTAs em-
brace things much more extensive. They contain
clauses about buying our farms.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria has dis-
covered that our FTA involvement with USA, New
Zealand, Chile (and in the future China) means
those countries only need FIRB approval to buy
farms worth more than $1,094 million. Investors
from Singapore and Thailand need approval if
their purchases exceed $50 million.
Why bother to set a trigger of $15 million when
there are so many exemptions?
Foreigners wish to buy our farms so they can
produce food and fibre to send to their homeland.
Our farmers prefer to grow the produce and export
it to those same people, rather than sell their land.
When will the Government get the message?
Why do FTAs involve such matters as the sale
of properties? Do any of the MPs or their legal
advisers read the clauses of deals and discover
Will the next deal known as the Trans Pacific
Partnership be explored and details revealed prior
Ken Grundy, Naracoorte.
IF I had $100,000 I certainly wouldn't be spend-
ing it on a life-sized bronze statue, of myself, or
anyone else. I might be looking to invest in a piece
of real estate, or splurge on a trip overseas.
But the Roo Project is not about individuals.
It is about Waikerie, it is about community and
it is about encouraging this community to thrive.
Before I moved to the Riverland six weeks ago
to take a position with the River News, I only knew
Waikerie existed because a colleague grew up here.
I had certainly never heard of Mark Ricciuto.
Football is something that is not exactly big in
our household, despite Dad being a footy umpire
for more than 30 years.
But after looking back through the River News
archives and speaking to passionate local residents,
it is clear that 'Roo' is a great export.
He is a home grown talent, fostered right here,
Rather than attacking, cutting down, or criticis-
ing the Roo Project, in the tradition of 'tall poppy
syndrome,' I would encourage people to get on
Put aside your own prejudices, the football
team you barrack for, or the 'it can't be done'
mantra and ask yourself this: what if it can be
Think what it would do for your town, your
community, the place many of you profess to love.
If the Roo Project can educate a few more igno-
rant Victorians like myself and encourage people to
get off the beaten track, visit Waikerie and spend
some tourist dollars, then surely that can only be
a good thing.
Others breaking the law too?
AFTER 27 years of owning horses on my
property I got a letter from District Council
of Loxton Waikerie saying I was "illegally
keeping horses under section 84 of the Act".
The law states one horse per three hect-
ares (7.5 acres), properties need to be fenced
30 metres from a dwelling, plus the horses
are not allowed to be hand fed as it's inten-
Yes, I am breaking the law doing what I
love, but how many people that own horses
are also not abiding by the law?
Just look around, there's horses in front/
back yards, 10 horses on two acre paddocks,
leasing council land well under the require-
ments of the law and people putting up yards
or adding on to yards for more horses.
The council said if there was no com-
plaint then they wouldn't implement the law.
But why now have they decided that I am
breaking the law when many other horse
owners are too? I think if the law is applied
to one then it needs to be applied to all.
We have now relocated out of the district.
Lynda Olsen, Robertstown, formerly
Decorate shop fronts for Anzacs
RIVERLAND West Chamber of Com-
merce in association with Lynette Nitschke
and Waikerie RSL would like to encourage all
Waikerie businesses to decorate shop fronts
for the month of April.
This will show support and commemorate
the 100th centenary of the landing at Anzac
We are asking that all businesses show
togetherness and unity to help honour and
commemorate this historical event, showing
the community that we can all unite for the
remembrance of our present and past mili-
Previously local businesses have been
able to create pedestrian stopping displays as
many did for Australia Day festivities.
Let's create a shopping complex to be
For more information, people can call the
chamber on 0499 097 240.
Cr Kym Webber, Waikerie
Battle for water
ACCESS to water is a basic human right
taken for granted by the average Australian,
yet for some of our closest neighbours, in-
cluding Papua New Guinea, it is an everyday
battle; one that involves mostly women and
young girls walking vast distances to collect
enough water to drink, cook and bathe in.
Since 2004 WaterAid has helped over
51,000 Papua New Guineans access safe
Despite the progress made, big challenges
remain. Sixty per cent of Papua New Guin-
ea's seven million people still live without
easy access to safe water.
At WaterAid, our vision is a world where
everyone has access to safe water by 2030.
Aid alone does not solve everything, but it
makes an important difference.
In the next three years, WaterAid will
reach a further 30,000 men, women, girls and
boys with a clean water supply, thanks to the
Australian Government's aid program.
This is the real difference Australian aid
can make. WaterAid urges the Australian
Government to reconsider the cuts it has
announced to the aid budget.
Addressing the global water crisis will
require the collective energy and expendi-
ture of governments, the private sector and
We all have a role to play. We'd love you
to support our work by joining Walk 4 Water
www.walk4water.com.au from March 16 to 20
and walking 10,000 steps a day to raise funds
for WaterAid in the lead up to World Water
Day on March 22.
Paul Nichols, chief executive
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