The Border Watch : February 14th 2014
8 OPINION EDITORIAL WITH record investment tipped to flow into the region’s powerhouse timber sector in coming years, it is time for the community to leave the doom and gloom that has rocked the industry in the past. The industry now appears to be recovering and is possibly in reach of securing a number of major investments, which have the potential to catapult the sector into a new era. Timberlink Australia - which is ploughing a massive $20m into the Tarpeena mill - is continuing its investigations to build a biomass facility, worth up to $100m. While the project has a number of significant hurdles to jump, such investigations give a glimpse into how the industry may appear in the future. The community must also be buoyed by the fact Timberlink Australia is not the only company seeking to capture large-scale new investments for the sector. For the first time in history, plantation growers - such as OneFortyOne Plantations and Green Triangle Forest Products - have also merged collectively to seek major global investment for similar projects to utilise wood residue. And in another positive development, a cluster of timber processing facilities is also undergoing major investments to improve efficiencies and target new markets. These companies include Mount Gambier sawmilling company N.F. McDonnell and Sons and Carter Holt Harvey. Driving this large-scale investment have been the millions of dollars in State Government funding that has flowed to these key businesses. Another major and groundbreaking development in the forestry sector in recent years has been the $1m-plus cellulose fibre study, which was driven and funded by the State Government. Meanwhile, it is also pleasing to see Liberal stalwart Martin Hamilton-Smith meeting with Timberlink Australia officials yesterday during his visit to the Blue Lake city. COMMENT Mount Gambier gets treated unfairly once again ROM THE FRONT PORCH R R GRAHAM REENWOOD WHAT is so amazing about the fact Mount Gambier was again snubbed and left out of a promotional film promoting the South East is that it should come as no surprise to anyone. 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, February 14, 2014 Decade after decade this city has been left out of numerous tourism marketing promotional material, so much so that many are now questioning whether Mount Gambier is still in South Australia. Even when we have a local like Glencoe-born and bred Leon Bignell in government and who is the tourism minister, it has little effect and Mount Gambier still misses out. Nobody in this city would begrudge other areas such as Coonawarra, Naracoorte or Robe from receiving the excellent promotional coverage they may receive from the latest short film on the district, but surely someone in government must agree that Mount Gambier has been treated poorly far too often for it to be considered “an oversight”. The question most would ask is “why”? Especially as there is so much to do here, including being the biggest shopping precinct outside Adelaide. What is it about our city that attracts little or no attention from the corridors of parliament in North Terrace, Adelaide, unless they want to sell something, like our forests? It is a question this newspaper has been asking for more than 50 years and nothing in that time has changed – there is always a different excuse. The most common is that the promotion is one of several and Mount Gambier will feature in later material – it never happens. They lie. Interestingly this latest film has drawn a wide range of views with many suggesting it is hardly worthy of Mount Gambier being involved, others criticising the film as a very poor effort. Regardless of the debate, Mount Gambier does what it always does and gets on with the job of promoting itself in an extraordinary way. The latest is the Fork And Cork food and wine festival, planned for the main Corner precinct on March 1. This is an initiative of several food and wine operators, determined to establish a quality food and wine festival which will become a regular event on our local calendar. A hard-working committee is headed by Terry Strickland, a local vigneron and businessman. I first meet Terry back in the late 1960s when he arrived here as a teacher, played football for East Gambier and Barber Shield cricket for North Gambier. A genuine fast bowler, with a superb action, he could swing the ball both ways at pace, which made him a difficult proposition for even the best batsmen. He had played district cricket in STREET SWEEPER Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Kit RanDall Mount Gambier No, I don’t any more, although I used to enjoy Valentine’s Day and go out for dinner. MaRion GRaVett Mount Gambier No, I believe that the day is very commercialised. No, it is very commercialised and just another event. I don’t believe we have to purchase a gift or spent that day together to celebrate. Helen BoaK Melbourne Adelaide and returned there to teach and continued his district career. He later returned to Mount Gambier and played in Yahl’s 1972-73 and 1973-74 premiership and runners-up in 1974-75. Through that period he was a prominent member of many successful Whitty Trophy teams. He has left his mark in this city and now, along with others, is putting something back into the town he loves. The festival will showcase many of the products grown in this area, including those from other areas of the South East. Celebrity chef Justine Schofield will be among the many top line guests at a festival where the main theme is to educate locals and visitors as to what the district offers in food and wine. It seems certain locals will support this event – they usually do as Mount Gambier has a history of staging food festivals, including the Bavarian and International festivals at the lakes back in the 1970s and ‘80s. While Mount Gambier continues to be ignored by tourism and government authorities, that will not deter people such as Terry Strickland and his band of hard workers. They are determined to make this event a success. Ever so gracious, the city would be happy for tourism chiefs and politicians to attend the festival as guests and see what a self-help community can achieve. You never know, it might send a message to Adelaide that we are, in fact, still in South Australia.
February 13th 2014
February 18th 2014