The Border Watch : January 24th 2014
8 OPINION EDITORIAL COMMUNITY pride will be celebrated on Sunday as the community comes together to mark Australia Day. As clichéd as it sometimes sounds, when you look at world affairs, we are still the lucky country. There are many challenges facing the nation and our region and battles to continue over job security, social issues and other concerns, but compared to what citizens face in less fortunate places, there are few lifestyles like the laid-back and safe environment we enjoy in Australia. It is a way of life we are right to work to protect and share with new arrivals on our shores. One of the elements of Australian society that adds to the welfare of us all is the tireless work of community volunteers behind countless organisations, from special interest groups to service clubs and the arts. Each Australia Day, our councils celebrate our great achievers, rewarding their dedication while providing inspiration to us all. When reading the stories of the endless achievements of our decorated citizens, it is easy to see they get out as much as they put in from their services, feeling a sense of fulfilment and purposes. All organisations dedicated to worthy causes constantly need more helpers and we can all benefit from lending a hand, keeping vital organisations vibrant while adding meaning to our own lives and making new friends. There are few more important community groups than the Country Fire Service, proven over recent weeks with our firefighters battling blazes in the region and further afield, saving lives and property. But while some opt for the adventurous approach to volunteering of joining emergency services, there are volunteer positions for everyone across a myriad of organisations. So when you reflect on the greatness of our nation and peace of our lifestyle, don’t just think about what your nation does for you, but how you can contribute, protect our way of life and embrace the Australian spirit. VISIT US ONLINE borderwatch.com.au COMMENT Intense lobbying begins for deputy mayor position ROM THE FRONT PORCH attending many functions and chairing meetings when the mayor has been unavailable to attend. REENWOOD R GRAHAM R MOUNT Gambier City Council will sit next Tuesday and amongst its more important deliberations will be the task to elect a new deputy mayor. 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 SCOTT GROUP OF COMPANIES The Border Watch Management: General Manager: Robin Reid Email: email@example.com Editor: Jason Wallace Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor: Rod Morris Email: email@example.com Sales Manager: Dennis Jackson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Pre-Press Manager: Jamie Croker Email: email@example.com Administration Manager: Demi Hammond Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Border Watch Audited by Audit Bureau of Circulations 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 538600 8 - The Border Watch, Friday, January 24, 2014 BRYAN KRAWCZYK Whyalla I will be performing as a drummer at the Whyalla Australia Day celebrations in the evening. TYLER SCHREIBER Mount Gambier I will be going fishing for the day. Our family will also celebrate by having a barbecue in the evening. CHRISTIAN HILL Mount Gambier I will be attending the Cave Gardens breakfast in the morning and spending the day with family and friends. It is likely a vote by councillors will follow the tabling of a resignation letter from deputy mayor, Cr Byron Harfield, a position he has held since the mid 2000s. Cr Harfield has moved to Adelaide to reside and initially tendered an application for leave of absence during December, followed by his letter of resignation for next week’s January meeting. Because of the timing of his resignation, it will mean council will not be required to hold a by-election to replace Cr Harfield as a councillor. His position as a councillor will come up for election at the next council poll in October. In the meantime there has been much discussion behind the scenes about who will be elected as deputy mayor for the next nine month period and already there has been lobbying by some councillors as they position themselves in the lead up to a possible vote. During the almost 10 year period that Cr Harfield has held the deputy mayor’s position he has worked tirelessly as a backup to mayor Steve Perryman, STREET SWEEPER How will you celebrate Australia Day? In upholding the dignity the position requires, he has done an admirable job in representing not only council but also ratepayers, at numerous civic and state functions. Cr Harfield was rarely one who thrust himself into the limelight unnecessarily, but just the same was never one to walk away from an issue which he believed required his attention. One such cause was his strong stand over the bus shelter on Jubilee Highway East. He was vocal in his opposition to the project and convinced it would be better placed on the rail land. However, it was a view that gathered little support among other councillors, yet he refused to back down and continued his campaign, even after the construction work on the shelter had begun. Next Tuesday the curtain will come down on the many years of civic service Cr Harfield has given to this city. He served Mount Gambier as a young police officer in the 1970s and later became a successful businessman before moving into local government. With Cr Harfield’s impending resignation, much discussion and lobbying among councillors has begun in a bid to seek his replacement. There is a view, held by at least one senior councillor, that the city’s longest serving councillor, Merv White, should be Certainly Cr White’s dedication to the community is clearly evident in the high number of civic events and functions he attends, whether in his official capacity as a councillor or as a member of the public. If Cr White is prepared to stand and the motion to support his appointment is put, there is unlikely to be an election. However in politics, even at a local level, nothing is certain. Cr Allen Smith is understood to have already put his name forward to other councillors and Cr Ian Von Stanke is another who might stand, but much will hinge on whether Cr White decides to take up the invitation. Another councillor who has strong credibility among other councillors is Cr Jim Maher. He is stepping down at the October election and has made it known he believes a person who is continuing in the next council should take the role. The position of deputy mayor is important and as its name suggests, is only a step away from council’s top post. Given the busy schedule of attending many functions in any particular week by a mayor, the deputy role comes with a heavy workload and a commitment that can eat into one’s private or social life. Next Tuesday, council must decide who has the credentials to adequately fill that role. invited to take on the role for the ninemonth period, primarily as a reward for the more than 25 years of service he has given this city.
January 23rd 2014
January 28th 2014