The Border Watch : January 16th 2015
8 opinion EDiToRiAL MINERAL Resources Minister Tom Koutsantonis demonstrated a willingness to listen to protesters concerned about hydraulic fracturing in the South East yesterday. However, it is one thing to listen and another to act. The protesters, representing a broad crosssection of the community, were respectful and put forward their fears. These concerns, predominantly focused on the potential contamination of the region’s groundwater, will be tested when a parliamentary inquiry begins next month. Proponents of the controversial mining technique will also have a chance to have their say as the inquiry hears from people on both sides of the debate about whether fracking should be allowed in the South East to capitalise on gas reserves. Our groundwater sustains diverse agriculture industries that are the economic backbone of the South East and must not be put at risk. If our water becomes significantly contaminated, it would have broad implications, not just on agriculture, but also the health of people across the region. It is vital the inquiry involves a broad and accountable investigation into all aspects of the mining industry’s potential impact on the South East, with claims tested against reliable information sources. Unconventional mining techniques should not be used in the area if they put at risk our valuable primary industries that have been built up over generations in our clean and green part of the state. If the inquiry finds the fears of the protesters are justified, Mr Koutsantonis, who is a key figure in the State Government, also holding the role of treasurer, must show he will not just pay lip service to the campaigners. He should use his clout to ensure the region is protected from any potential adverse effects and ensure findings of the inquiry are backed up with legislation. ViSiT US onLinE borderwatch.com.au CoMMEnT Mount Gambier, home of James Morrison Music Academy ROM THE FRONT PORCH REENWOOD R GRAHAM R “WELCOME to Mount Gambier - home of the James Morrison Music Academy”. Imagine what a great welcome to visitors and tourists this would be if city council had large signs built on each of the entry roads coming into Mount Gambier containing these words? ESTABLISHED 1861 Published by The Border Watch Pty Ltd ABN: 78 007 828 819 Registered office: 81 Commercial Street East, Mount Gambier, SA 5290 Postal address: Box 309, Mount Gambier, SA 5290 Telephone: 08 8724 1555; Fax: 08 8724 1551 Website: www.borderwatch.com.au SMS: 0427 135 114 Proud member of the The music academy is already gaining recognition overseas and throughout Australia, thanks largely to James Morrison’s popularity and musical expertise and we should all be proud that our city is its home. As more and more students arrive during the next few years, and the university gains further recognition, the exposure and notoriety Mount Gambier will gain from the academy is almost priceless. Academy staff began moving into the Town Hall last week. With enrolments already exceeding expectations, it will grow each year as the academy expands into a three-year degree course. The Border Watch Management: General Manager: Robin Reid Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Jason Wallace Email: email@example.com Sports Editor: Rod Morris Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Manager: Dennis Jackson Email: email@example.com Pre-Press Manager: Jamie Croker Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Administration Manager: Chelsea Sargeant Email: email@example.com Audited by Audit Bureau of Circulations The Border Watch Telephone 8724 1555, Fax 8724 1551 Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by Jason Wallace, 81 Commercial Street East, Mt Gambier The Border Watch proudly uses 100% recycled paper 661359 8 - The Border Watch, Friday, January 16, 2015 When news of the academy was first announced late last year, some were oblivious to the great financial benefits this would bring to the city’s economy. Some brushed it off as simply a “jazz thing”, others asked what would happen if James Morrison decided to leave after a couple of years? Most missed the point. This is a long-term, private business STREET SWEEpER TIA LAWRIE Mount Gambier I really like the Blue Lake and I regularly walk around it with my family. operation, run by James and his wife Judi. They are in this for the long haul and the great thing about it is they are committed to Mount Gambier. Despite strong overtures and incentives from the Queensland Government to have it established in Brisbane, James and Judi chose Mount Gambier showing the huge faith and love they have for this city. After negotiations broke down involving another local venue, James then turned his sights to the Town Hall and later approached city council about its availability. His business plan blew away any doubts councillors had about the project being a success. Inadvertently the academy will help the much-maligned Main Corner enjoy greater usage, with students using the theatrette for concerts, practice and as a recording studio, when not being used by the public. As the project moves closer to fruition, the economic benefits are beginning to surface. James and Judi have already purchased three properties, worth more than $1m. One home is for their family, another for Judi’s mother, who is following her daughter from Sydney, and a third house will be occupied by Grammy awardwinning saxophonist Jeff Clayton who will move from Los Angles to work as the academy’s first artist-in-residence. James and Judi are looking to rent between 15-20 homes to accommodate students. That is some commitment and anyone still unsure of the value this academy brings to the city’s economy need only do their sums on what these students will spend locally. They will need washing machines, clothes driers, beds, lounge and kitchen suites and utensils, linen, televisions, clothes, food, possibly motor vehicles, and places to spend their money, such as cafes, clubs and so on. When the academy is operating at full capacity in three years time about 70 rental homes will be needed to accommodate students. In addition these students’ parents and families will visit often, attend special concerts, graduations or come as tourists, value-adding the economic benefit to all tiers of business in the city. While no economic impact statement has yet been prepared, it is understood James Morrison will attend a Chamber of Commerce breakfast function, in February, where Chamber members and business people will hear first-hand of his business plans for the academy and the benefits it will bring to the city. It is also understood Premier Jay Weatherill will travel to Mount Gambier to officially open the academy at a special function in early March. Let’s hope city council does place signs on the city’s outskirts because we should be proud to boast about being the academy’s home. James is a world-renown musician who is held in the highest regard by many musicians and jazz festival organisers here and overseas. It would be no surprise if many have already looked at the map to see where Mount Gambier is located. The academy will put the city on the world stage. As part of our commitment to the City of Mount Gambier Charter for Children, this section will be used to voice the views of youngsters each Friday. Where is somewhere in Mount Gambier you love to go with your family? JAK HILL-JONES Mount Gambier I like riding motorbikes with mum out on our farm at Yahl and I also enjoy exploring swamps and bushland near Mount Gambier. ELEANOR DOYLE Mount Gambier I like visiting the Valley Lakes playground and we usually have a picnic there. Sometimes we will even feed the ducks if they aren’t too greedy.
January 15th 2015
January 20th 2015