The Border Watch : January 8th 2016
8 opinion EDiToRiAL NEWS today South East cattle producers are still enjoying firm prices despite more stock flowing onto the market because of the dry conditions is welcomed news. The livestock industry – worth more $340m annually in the Limestone Coast – is one of the region’s powerhouse industries. The robust sector - which has suffered cyclical farmgate prices in recent years - is an important cog in the region’s economic wheel. The sector helps to underpin the transport sector, generates jobs on farms as well as supply product to the abattoirs at Naracoorte and Bordertown. While there had been much debate in the political landscape over drought funding, it is vital as farmers cannot battle through these dry conditions. New figures today that show 2015 was the driest in 20 years will certainly hit home for many farmers who are struggling with diminishing feed stocks and higher irrigation costs. Let’s hope farmers can hold off until the autumn break, which hopefully arrives early this year. While the nation was built on the sheep’s back, there is no denying the region’s economic vibrancy continues to rest on the important livestock sector. Bank decision baffles council GRANT District Council is certainly perplexed by the decision made by the ANZ to withdraw its services from the Port MacDonnell Community Complex. While the financial institution was unable to provide reasons for the move yesterday, it is certainly a set back for the bustling commercial fishing port. The move will no doubt affect businesses and customers in the district, including tourists who rely on the service to withdraw cash on weekends. If this service is not available, visitors may well decide to leave the seaside village and not spend any money. CoMMEnT Hawke makes right call on state governments ROM THE FRONT PORCH R REENWOOD GRAHAM R IT was in 1969 when I first saw Bob Hawke. 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 He had just been elected president of the soon-to-become very powerful ACTU union movement and was guest speaker at the Kings Theatre, where the Riddoch Art Gallery is now located. There were a number of colleagues from The Border Watch who attended that evening, including Noel Waker, Col Hillier, Ray Fowler, Bob Lucas, father of current SA politician Robert Lucas, Eric Ball and Reg Brooksby. All were members of the Printing and Kindred Industries Union, although most of us dropped our membership a short time later, after it was discovered, not surprisingly, that the union was more interested in our fees and looking after Adelaide members first, rather than any concerns we may have had. For me it was the last time I was in a union which made it easier and more successful to negotiate directly with bosses. The Border Watch Management: General Manager: Robin Reid Email: email@example.com Editor: Jason Wallace Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Sports Writer: Trevor Jackson Email: email@example.com Sales Manager: Dennis Jackson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Pre-Press Manager: Jamie Croker Email: email@example.com Administration Manager: Sonia Galwey Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 683699 8 - The Border Watch, Friday, January 8, 2016 Getting back to 1969, it was impossible not to be impressed by Bob Hawke’s speech. It was a packed theatre that night and most walked away with the view that he would one day become prime minister. That became a reality after a lastminute switch of Labor leaders when Mr Hawke replaced Bill Hayden just as STREET SWEEpER HANNAH BAILEY Mount Gambier I liked going on a holiday to Robe. the Libs’ Malcolm Fraser announced the date for the 1983 election. Mr Hayden’s famous quote that “a drover’s dog could have won that election” may be so, but Mr Hawke’s personality, leadership and determination to make serious changes to the tax and banking systems and superannuation resonated with voters. Mr Hawke remains Labor’s longest serving prime minister and not surprisingly is rated as their best. Many Labor leaders since, with the exception of Paul Keating, who replaced him, have sought his counsel but few have been good enough to stand in his shadow. But when he speaks, what he says usually makes news and very often makes sense. Over the 40 years I have been writing editorials or commentaries, I have often raised the issue of the huge debt Australia faces and the bureaucracy that feeds off our tax dollars. To help retire that debt I have argued that because Australia is the most overgoverned country in the world with three tiers - federal, state and local - one level of government should be abolished. In the past few years this view has gathered support from other commentators but last week it secured its biggest supporter when Mr Hawke gave the keynote address at the Woodford Folk festival. He said state borders were absurd and Australia would become a stronger country with two levels of government - federal and local. He called for a new model of federalism which would dump the state government system for a system of centralised government, arguing this would strengthen Australia’s democracy. What he didn’t say, but what is clearly true, is that all state governments are virtually broke, have made a mess of running their economies and are always seeking handouts from Canberra, that is, when they are not passing the buck for any problems they themselves created. Imagine the savings on axing two houses of parliament in SA, WA, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania and one in Queensland which has already abolished its upper house? The savings on politicians’ and support staff wages would run into billions of dollars. Then throw in cuts to public service in each state and it would make a huge dent in both state and national debt, helping set this country up for the next generation. It might mean establishing “super” councils but the system works in many countries. Where the argument hits a road block is the fact Australia does not have a leader - state, federal, Labor or Liberal - with the courage or ability to take on and change the system. Bob Hawke, may or may not have been Australia’s best prime minister, but one thing is certain, if he were the country’s leader today he would be making the tough decisions to improve Australia’s economy and a starting point would be to introduce a two-tier government system. As part of our commitment to the City of Mount Gambier Charter for Children, this section is used to voice the views of youngsters each Friday. What has been your favourite part of the summer holidays? MIA MASHADO Mount Gambier I have enjoyed going to Robe and swimming at the beach and pool. LYLA BAYLEY Mount Gambier I have enjoyed going to the beach and going on a jetski as well as Christmas. ViSiT US onLinE borderwatch.com.au Break the school holidays boredom With the school year over and parents looking for low-cost ideas to keep children entertained, The Border Watch is highlighting just a few fun activities on the Mount Gambier 50 Things To Do Before You Turn 13 list. Do you recognise this activity? Answer in the next edition. Last edition – COMPLETE THE FITNESS CIRCUIT AT THE VALLEY LAKES PLAYGROUND Make excercise fun at the ever-popular Valley Lakes playground. This challenging course will have you stepping, pulling and climbing your way to good health. Visit www.tbw.com.au/u13top50 for the full Mount Gambier 50 Things To Do Before You Turn 13 list.
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