The Border Watch : May 30th 2014
8 OPINION EDITORIAL THE federal budget has certainly caused a last-minute hiccup to the finances of Mount Gambier City Council next financial year. Since the controversial budget was handed down, council staff members have been busily crunching the numbers to try and get its 2014/15 financial blueprint close to a balanced budget. While the body was initially looking at a modest $20,000 operating surplus, it is now facing an $85,000 deficit in its bottomline because of a shock $474,000 gap in federal funding. However, this should not trigger alarm bells in the community given some of this money could be clawed back in savings throughout the year. Although this deficit is minuscule in terms of its multi-million-dollar operations, the federal budget curve ball will see some budget lines trimmed or thrown out. But given council staff have been able to retain the Blue Lake solar lights project within the current constraints of the budget, it would be prudent for council to move ahead with the exciting project. The Blue Lake is the city’s most iconic landmark, which is well overdue for tourismrelated infrastructure upgrades. The project also appears to have the widespread backing of the community. Not only would the project brighten the lives of people who regularly walk around the circuit, but could be a major tourism drawcard for our city. Meanwhile, city council must also carefully consider the consequences of dumping the felling of diseased trees at the crater lakes area. While council needs to make savings and keep its rate rise to a minimum, these trees may pose a safety threat to the many walkers and cyclists who frequent the area. But given the complexity of this issue, it will now be up to council staff and elected members to make the right decision. VISIT US ONLINE borderwatch.com.au COMMENT More than cost to consider with skateboard park ROM THE FRONT PORCH R R GRAHAM REENWOOD 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, May 30, 2014 ROBERT BERLIN Mount Gambier We have elected the government to do a job and they are doing it. I do not agree with the march. ALECIA SUTHERLAND Mount Gambier It is a good idea. I’m all for it. BOB JAMES Mount Gambier It does not concern me. What evolves from the budget is out of our control. What will happen, will happen. ONE of the great things about growing up as a “baby boomer” was the freedom, discipline and respect that went with living during that era of the 1950s and ‘60s. When my family arrived from the UK in 1952, my father bought a very modest house in Willamott Street, Ethelton. If Port Adelaide is the Bronx of Adelaide then Ethelton is the Bronx of Port Adelaide. Despite this, it was a great neighbourhood and Ethelton Primary was one of the most disciplined schools I attended. There is a particular point about the freedom children of that era enjoyed and embraced. We got outdoors, enjoyed playing and often it meant leaving home on a Saturday at 7am and not returning until evening. Parents never worried about their children, as long as they were home by dark. We got up to all kinds of mischief, despite our young age. We were fearless - afraid of nothing. As a six-year-old I can remember the Sunday Mail delivery men, driving their ex-army Jeep and dropping off the newspaper at about 4am. STREET SWEEPER What is your opinion on Mount Gambier hosting a march about the federal budget tomorrow? Keen to join them, I waited outside on the pavement in the dark for them to pick me up and sit me in the back with hundreds of newspapers as they made their deliveries. They dropped me back at my home at about 7.30am, before my parents woke, just in time for breakfast. They knew nothing of my weekly early morning escapades. Can you imagine that happening today? Forget the dangers a trip like that might pose with two older men, today’s youngsters are more likely to be inside the house on Facebook, iPods, mobile phones or watching television. It has been well recorded that today’s generation and probably a couple before them, are the most obese in our history, lack exercise and initiative to amuse themselves, to the point where almost everything has to be provided for them. There is however one section of today’s young society whom I admire greatly. I often travel along Attamurra Road and look across at the skateboarders and BMX riders using Dimjalla Skatepark. What I admire is that they are amusing themselves - they are outdoors enjoying the fresh air and they are not asking anyone to “babysit” them. Added to this is the fact they are talented skateboarders and to watch them strut their stuff at the park is quite entertaining. And guess what? Because they are active, they are all lean with not an obese boy in sight. Tells you something, doesn’t it? On their skateboards these lads are fearless, but in a different way to my generation. My generation would climb trees, jump from a timber mill tower into sawdust and climb into furnaces and while rarely getting hurt, it doesn’t compare to the dangers of skateboard riding or BMX riding over the concrete course at a skateboard park. Skateboarding takes great skill which is required to avoid being seriously hurt. In the past few weeks the Dimjalla Skate Park has been in the news as council has endeavoured to secure an extension of its lease with Bedford Industries. For various reasons the lease price has doubled and while the new lease is only for two years it is a worthwhile investment in the future of our youth. Some have suggested the increase of about $8000 is too high and a new skate park should be built at the rail lands. But most of these kids come from the east end of town and that is where the current park is situated, so how many would travel to the inner city to skate? By not catering for these kids from the east end would be an injustice and there is a grave risk it might push them out of the parks and onto the streets. At the moment at least the kids are happy, fit and doing no harm. Council should be applauded for trying to keep it that way.
May 29th 2014
June 3rd 2014