Letters to the editor

Disastrous outcomes

I have just received my council rates and discovered my property valuation is now below half that of 2013.

Main reasons being the construction of a non-compliant house to be built in Blancheport Rise.

This resulted in the failure to attract any bids at auction for a new spec home opposite, and took three years to sell at a reduced price.

It also meant no more houses were built, whereas other subdivisions thrived for a seven-year period.

In my view, an inappropriate decision was made to develop stage two of Blancheport Rise, when there was already an oversupply of vacant allotments.

Recently, the council granted a waiver to allow another non-compliant house to be built which will further devalue properties.

Blancheport Rise was promoted by council as an exclusive estate. 

At the next council elections we need competent people to stand for council with thinking caps on, to act in the best interests of the ratepayers and community, who will employ qualified council staff, with thinking caps on, also in the best interests of the community.

ALAN MORTIMER

Streaky Bay

Challenges facing the EP

Eyre Peninsula is a unique and beautiful piece of the greatest country on Earth.

The towns are in the main well planned, tidy and appealing, while their residents are generally law-abiding, easy going, and justifiably proud and defensive of their communities and heritage.

Underlying this are the undeniable facts that as a whole our population is shrinking and ageing, our unemployment rate is rising and our school-leavers are seeking careers elsewhere.

Our water, power, road networks, public transport and communications systems are inadequate, ageing and expensive to use and maintain.

The very things that make EP so enjoyable are the things causing our private, federal and state government services to centralise to Adelaide and beyond.

In the eyes of the bureaucrats and bean counters we are ‘too far away, too few in numbers and too expensive to service’.

Small towns can’t attract and retain medical expertise to run clinics and hospitals (if they still have one), private businesses including general stores clubs and hotels are closing while families are ‘selling the farm’, forcing state government to justify the continuance of its services.

At the same time the northern and eastern portions are ‘doing it tough’ with a prolonged lack of rain.

The Eyre Peninsula has five projects being investigated that could by themselves, do wonders for individual townships and localities but, taken as a whole, could rejuvenate the entire region.

They are: the mine at Warramboo and associated multi-use port; a nuclear waste storage facility at Kimba; a desalination plant near Port Lincoln; and offshore oil exploration in the Bight.

There are also a number of smaller but just as vital developments.

Every one of the projects outlined will require people to operate them from the concept, design, start-up and pre-production stages through to daily operation and final dismantling/remediation if that is required.

That could amount to over 200,000 full time jobs over the life of the collective projects, most of which have a known serviceable life span of 60 to 100 years.

That is over two generations of directly relatable, full time, productive work.

It could provide school leavers with a career path that allows them to stay here.

They will need housing, food, schools, hospitals, recreation facilities, communications, road networks, public transport, etc, which creates further employment, leading to even greater population retention.

Decaying and aged infrastructure, population decline, unemployment, diminished services, lack of private investment are eliminated as the the region becomes “too big to ignore”.

Yes, there are risks associated with each one of the major and minor projects outlined, but the greatest risk is in not fully exploring and accepting the opportunities they present.

The scenery will still be breathtaking, the sun will still shine, the tide will still ebb and flow, bushfire, drought and flood will still challenge us as it has for eons.

The challenge we face is; do we do nothing and continue our decline in paradise or do we take some minimised, calculated risks and thrive?

Failing to explore our options may deprive our grandchildren of opoprtunities.

You may, as is your right, disagree with me, and or oppose one or all of the projects, but challenge yourself to devise any viable plan that could reverse the current situation and provide benefits to the EP before publicly attacking my musings.

It is far too common and popular today to say “Not in my backyard” rather than say “Not that, but what about this?”

STEVE WOOLLEY

Cummins

Letters to the editor

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