Letters to the editor, October 23, 2018

Photo: File.
Photo: File.

Parking on Sixth Street

Last week I once again wanted to visit one of the businesses on Sixth Street and was unable to get a park closer than the East Terrace off-road car park.

I realise it was school holidays, but the parking in the short-term parks in Sixth Street and the private car park were full of people “just popping” over to the shopping complex.

I suggest that the parking in front of the local government centre would have suffered the same way.

Sixth street being one-way, the entrance to that private car park not being accessible from South Terrace, and access to the shopping centre from their car park only being available at one end of the mall forces drivers to either park somewhere else or walk a great distance.

I realise the shopping centre is not a council facility, but surely they needed to approve the plans before it was built.

I suggest that in peak periods a council parking inspector could easily recuperate his wages in parking fines, or maybe just start gently by putting a notice under windscreen wipers suggesting that a fine is a potential.

Even the council could produce such notices and allow, under licence, one of the business owners to place them.

Joy Burgess, Murray Bridge

Why the introduced species?

I am keen to know why (Murray Bridge) council is planting non-native trees – most recently some sort of Chinese elm in Christian Road, which needs watering – instead of having a policy of water-wise indigenous planting.

This extends to the “geometric” irrigated plantings happening along Adelaide Road in the linear park.

There is a lovely example of native plantings in a Rotary project on the corner of Cromwell and Adelaide Road, doing very well.

We are all concerned about the Murray and water resources.

Its starts with each and every one of us and I would have expected a council situated on the Murray River, in the driest state of Australia, would have a much more responsible policy.

I have written to ask them … awaiting response!

Dianne Smyth, Murray Bridge

Local government is broken

After reading your comment “All’s fair in love and local government” (October 18) a couple of times, I realise how right you are.

As a candidate who has entered the fray it is obvious all is not good in the relationships in local government – too many personal agendas.

Rates are far too high, especially in areas like my own which are unlucky enough to be in one of the lowest socio-economic electorates in South Australia.

All of the comments received by presently-elected members, and those retiring after great service, and many new to local government – who have never attended a council meeting and, I have been informed, not read council agendas with as many as as 800-900 pages minutes or financial statements – who seem to believe all they really have to do is attend meetings and vote and don’t understand the fiduciary requirements, or even understand the term.

Elected members have great responsibility and are the decision makers on behalf of their communities, which is what local government, which doesn’t have recognition in the national constitution, is all about.

You can’t enter council with preconceived ideas or your own agenda unless it is 100 per cent community-orientated.

You are the decision-makers and are the employers of the CEO, who must be totally guided by your decisions!

It is extremely disappointing to see the behaviour of candidates who must be well-informed on the regulations and can’t make promises or entice a vote by, as Peri says, “a snag on bread” or any other inducement.

Local government is broken and can only be repaired by honesty and transparency by the three main contenders: the community, the persons employed to run the council and the elected members.

The management of the councils have no part to play in the process.

Peter R Smith, 12 Boomerang Avenue, Mannum

National Carers Week

Last week was National Carers Week, a time to acknowledge the enormous contribution that our carers make each and every day.

It’s an opportunity to highlight the invaluable work of Australia’s 2.7 million unpaid carers make to our families, communities and the nation.

One in eight Australians care for a family member or friend who needs support due to disability, age, mental illness, or long-term physical illness.

In South Australia, 245,000 people are living as carers with 30,500 of these carers under the age of 25.

Australia’s 2.7 million unpaid carers spend an incredible 36 million hours every week providing care and support to family members or friends with a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, or who are frail or aged.

To all those in our community caring for someone else, thank you.

Your contribution to our society does not go unnoticed.

Tony Pasin, Member for Barker