The South Eastern Times : July 15th 2014
EDITORIAL 6 OPINION THE Southern Zone lobster fishery is regarded as one of the best managed fisheries in the world because governments and participants make sustainability a high priority. It is the economic powerhouse of coastal communities such as Beachport and Southend as it requires skippers, deckhands and a range of services. Furthermore, the ability to catch the delectable crustaceans from boats and rocks brings many tourists and retirees to our region. For this reason, it is more than just a happy coincidence the State Government minister who is now responsible for the industry holds the Fisheries and Tourism portfolios. Leon Bignell would well know if any of his decisions has an adverse impact on the fishery it will have a knock-on effect on the tourism sector. Mr Bignell is well placed to act in the best interests of the fishery as he spent the first 10 years of his life at Glencoe and still has many family ties to the region. The minister is a frequent visitor to this region and has made as many public appearances in Millicent at sporting and other events in the past 18 months as just about any other politician. It was pleasing to hear him say last week that he was happy to work closely with the fishing industry, scientists and bureaucrats on matters such as the annual quota and the boundaries of marine parks. As long as Mr Bignell makes the sustainability of the fishery his number one priority, he will ensure the Southern Zone rock lobster fishery, as well as the tourism sectors, remain strong well into the future. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Landholders need to make drainage tax opposition heard ABN: 65 007 614851 Published: Tuesday & Thursday Deadlines: Displays: 10am 2 days prior to publication Classifieds: 11am day prior to publication Copy: 5pm 2 days prior to publication General Manager: Robin Reid Email: email@example.com Advertising: Katherine Taylor Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Manager: Dennis Jackson Phone: 8724 1535, Email: email@example.com Editor: Jason Wallace Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Administration: Caroline Hammat Email: email@example.com Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by Jason Wallace, 81 Commercial Street East Mount Gambier The SE Times proudly uses 100% recycled paper Send your news tips and contributions to: firstname.lastname@example.org Published by The Border Watch Pty Ltd ABN: 78 007 828 819 Registered office: 42 Davenport Street, Millicent SA 5280 Postal address: PO Box 22, Millicent SA 5280 Telephone: (08) 8733 3755 Fax: (08) 8733 4341 Business Hours: 8.30am - 5.00pm, Monday - Friday Proud Member of the Audited by the Australian Bureau of Circulation 598996 6 - The South Eastern Times, Tuesday, July 15, 2014 www.thesoutheasterntimes.com.au LAST month, Environment Minister Ian Hunter announced the State Government will use the Natural Resources Management Board to establish what he calls a “community panel” to determine how the government’s proposed drainage tax would be raised from South East landholders. The move to establish the panel, in my mind, is nothing more than an attempt to divide our local communities by arguing who should pay more or less of this proposed tax. In other words - divide and conquer. The community should be aware the State Government does not have the legislative power to charge a tax on drainage. The State Government attempted to push through Parliament a Bill to allow the minister to charge landholders a drainage tax but this was withdrawn as the opposition and the minor parties would not support the Bill and therefore it did not pass through the Legislative Council. In other words, it is not law. Despite this, it’s my view that the State Government will use the findings of this “community panel” to convince the opposition and minor parties that landholders in the South East have agreed to a tax - I’m yet to meet a landholder that does. By the setting up of this “community panel” I believe that landholders have been misled to believe the proposed tax is currently lawful and they need to deal with how and who will pay it. I would urge landholders to be aware of this and instead use the “community panel” to express their opposition to the whole idea. Funding for the South Eastern Water Conservation and Drainage Board has not been increased this year for the capital upgrades and maintenance of infrastructure. Taking into account inflation, in real terms, funding has again been cut by the State Government. Instead of maintaining the current network, the State Government is now contributing $6m to build a new drain to run water into the Coorong, with no economic benefit to the region or state. This drain extension has been opposed by the South East Local Government Association on the basis that adequate maintenance has not been undertaken on the current network. I have recommended to the elected members of the Wattle Range Council that we take a steadfast position and represent our communities strongly in opposing the State Government’s planned drainage tax and encourage the opposition and minor parties to continue to block any Bill which would allow the minister to raise such a tax. Our drainage network economically benefits the entire state and therefore funding to maintain and upgrade the network should be allocated through general revenue. Peter Gandolfi Wattle Range Mayor STREET SWEEPER How do you feel about Millicent’s former Diplomat Motel reopening? JOHN HAMILL Millicent I welcome the reopening as it means Millicent won’t be left with a big building to become derelict. NEIL SKEER Hatherleigh It is a good move as Millicent needs these enterprises. LOIS ALTSCHWAGER Millicent I am pleased to see it reopen as Millicent needs to have such businesses.
July 10th 2014
July 17th 2014