The Border Watch : April 2nd 2014
8 opinion EDITORIAL NEWS today a Chinese delegation is searching the region for a substantial sawlog contract could be bittersweet news for the timber sector. While international interest in our sawlogs would be welcome by many in the industry, sawmills that rely on a steady stream of timber for processing are bound to be concerned regarding the upward movement in exports. The processing sector is already nervous about a dramatic upward rise in sawlogs flowing out of the Port of Portland to destinations such as China. Although OneFortyOne Plantations has export restrictions placed on it following the forward sale, there is no export ceiling placed on private growers in the region. A cluster of private growers owns a substantial share of the resource. While moves to snap up large quantities of non-processed sawlogs may cause concern, the Chinese company also flagged building export relationships with regional processing companies. Given the enormity of the Chinese market, this could present substantial new export opportunities for the powerhouse regional sector, provided they receive the raw resources they need. Often at the mercy of the cyclical domestic housing market, substantial new export contracts for processed timber have the potential to further grow the industry and jobs and deliver sustainability. But whatever the outcome, the industry must ensure regional processors have access to the quantities of logs they need. Sinking feeling IT IS disappointing to learn the Port MacDonnell wave energy project has hit troubled waters and may not proceed. The $7m project would have generated power for around 1000 homes and would have put the region on the global renewable energy map. With green energy the way of the future and little resistance to the wave energy in the region, the project would have possibly paved the way for similar developments along the coastline. Let’s hope another company takes on the project to see it to fruition. LETTER TO THE EDITOR Family fun day manager questions financial shortfall COMMENTS from Mount Gambier City Council about the family fun day in the March 18 edition of The Border Watch are unfortunate. 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STEPHEN SEARLE Mount Gambier I believe it should be a green site heavy with native trees, plants and flowers, along with pathways and shaded areas. KERRY O’MERAROBBINS Mount Gambier I would like to see it be family friendly parklands. If done right it could really beautify the city’s centre. The area should be full of water features, trees and shaded areas. I was an original member of the steering committee and have volunteered every year. In 2013, I was employed by the council to manage this event. My report to the council appears to have been misconstrued. Mayoress Jaime Perryman’s objective was to bring families together for a day of fun and activity without a financial burden on the family. Costs were minimised. The event relied on sponsorship and involvement by service clubs and volunteers. It showcased local talent. The fun day has always achieved its objectives. The article headlines cost and safety concerns. It also mentions a decline in volunteers and issues with unsupervised children. Children are not given a passport unless they are accompanied by an adult, who is therefore responsible for their supervision. The organisers and volunteers take due care, but are not supervisors. The comment is a red herring. Two organisations withdrew formal support, perceiving the volunteer paperwork to be too onerous. However, many members of these organisations volunteered their services. The 2013 event had 49 volunteers providing around 200 volunteer hours. It is insulting to imply that there needs to be more community support. The price tag is quoted as more than $46,000 compared with $11,500 in sponsorship. My report to council shows the total direct expenditure of $35,613. Sponsorship, donations, takings from the drink van and the carry over from 2012 accounted for $19,335. The $46,000 would seem to include an inordinate charge for my salary as I was employed to manage both the immunisation program and the fun day. Council funded the rest, for which the organising committee are very grateful. There was considerable other support, especially from She’s Apples, Exchange Printers and service groups. The reported shortfall of $35,500 would appear to have been an attempt to demonstrate a cost unacceptable to council. I would argue that the shortfall is overstated and that the ratepaying public would consider the actual cost to be good value. The article implies that risk management is an issue. Over the past 10 years, with in excess of 2000 children each year, there have to my knowledge only been two injuries that required more than a band aid or an ice pack. One of these occurred in 2013 and could not be attributed to poor supervision. It will be a pity if this great community event is not supported by the council. It would appear that there has been little or no planning to date. I would have expected planning to start in October, not at this late stage. Or has the council delayed discussion until now so that it is easier to drop the fun day? Christine Plunkett, Mount Gambier ViSiT US onLinE borderwatch.com.au STREET SWEEPER What features would you like to see at the redeveloped rail land site?
April 1st 2014
April 3rd 2014