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           Letters           

Transitional Housing Accommodation

The Mayor of the District Council of Coober Pedy, Steve Baines, in his report for the September general meeting says:

"... Coober Pedy's Transitional Housing Accommodation seems to have ground to a halt. I am informed that the matters of 24 hour policing and on-going funding need to be resolved before it can progress. As a result of this I have scheduled a meeting with Minister Jay Weatherill, Minister for Housing, in Adelaide on the 4th October to discuss these matters.

I travelled to Port Augusta on the 3rd September to meet with the Mayors of Port Augusta and Ceduna. At the meeting I asked for their support to get 24 hour policing for Coober Pedy. As a result Mayor Baluch, Mayor McCarthy and Lyn Breuer MP, Member for Giles have agreed to travel to Adelaide on the 4th October to accompany me and offer support at the meeting with Minister Weatherill.

I have once again written to the Minister for Police, Kevin Foley, stressing the need for 24 hour policing in Coober Pedy. We are also trying to arrange a meeting with Minister Foley for the week of the 3rd October, which the Mayors of Port Augusta and Ceduna have also graciously agreed to attend. They also agree that 24 hour policing for Coober Pedy is imperative.

Several other initiatives were discussed with Mayors Baluch and McCarthy in preparation for the summer onslaught of transients. We agreed that our three councils will continue to work together in an attempt to address the problems associated with transients and anti-social behaviour."

Boot Hill Graves

The Mayor also says in his report, 

"I have been approached by residents concerned that no one is maintaining some of the graves at Boot Hill. I have undertaken a site visit and noticed that several graves are in a state of disrepair. Obviously these deceased do not have any family or friends who will maintain their graves. After consulting with the Works Manager it appears that nearly all the graves can be identified through Council records. I suggest that Council undertake to maintain the graves of those who have on one else, and provide simple crosses bearing the deceased name and date of death. There is much history at our local cemetery and I would hate to see that lost because no one is accepting responsibility to maintain it.

 

Application for Funding - Triangle Key Initiative

(From the District Council of Coober Pedy Agenda, Report to Council from Trevor McLeod, Chief Executive Officer)

One of the Key Initiatives identified in the recently released Outback Regional Recreation, Sport and Open Space Strategy was that of the 'Development of the Coober Pedy Triangle Recreation and Sporting Reserve'.

The original Master Plan for the development of the Triangle was prepared by Council in 1995. To enable long term development of the Triangle in accordance with consultation findings, changes to that original Master Plan will need to encompass the following elements:

1. Proposed Clubrooms replaced by change rooms/toilets

2. Steps linking change rooms/toilets to oval

3. Provision of seating along oval boundary in south eastern and south western pockets

4. Provision of a concrete cricket wicket

5. Upgrade of existing and provision of additional lighting

6. Provision of area for future establishment of multi-purpose community centre via the relocation of proposed netball/basketball courts and tennis courts to existing non-utilised soccer, ruby, lacrosse and hockey pitch. It is not anticipated that the hard surface soccer pitch will be utilised for that purpose in the future. The oval surface has been developed to a standard to accommodate a variety of grass sport playing fields.

Indicative costs for items 1 to 5 above as identified in the Strategy total $746,350.

The Office for Recreation & Sport has released its funding guidelines and application forms for the 2005/2006 Community Recreation & Sport Facilities Program. Funding Category 2 relates to Regional Level Facility projects and funding on a dollar for dollar basis up to a maximum of $300,000 may be provided to successful projects under this program.

Consequently a review of priorities relating to items 1 to 5 above has been necessary in order to 'fit in' with the requirement of having to provide dollar for dollar funding to match $300,000.

The Far North Economic Development Officer will be assisting Council in its application for Category 2 funding to facilitate the construction of the following:

1. Change rooms/toilets

2. Upgrade of existing and provision of additional lighting

3. Steps linking change rooms/toilets to oval

I hope to be able to provide a more accurate cost of the change room/toilet facility at the Council Meeting (Tuesday September 20).

Council, together with the FNEDO and other agencies, will be seeking funding from other sources in an endeavour to reduce the commitment required by Council.

To be eligible for funding, applicants must verify that they can contribute at least 50% of the total cost of the project. A letter from Council to this end will be included with the application and if successful Council will then need to address the issue of the composition of its 50% contribution.

Skate Park

In addition to the above application, with assistance from the FNRDO, the Youth Sector Network will also be submitting and application under the same category for funding of a skate park proposed for construction at the north western corner of the Triangle, roughly adjacent to the rear of the Police Station.

At this early stage the indicative cost for this project is $120,000 with the same conditions applied as for the change room/toilet proposal. It is envisaged that Council will be asked to consider a contribution by way of cash or in-kind commitment.

Funding applications are to be submitted by 30th September 2005 and it is anticipated that organisations whose applications have been successful will be notified in December 2005.


Australia Needs Leadership 

(Press Release from Jane Nathan, President, Australia Population Institute, www.apop.com.au )

The Australian Population Institute (Apop) is calling for leadership from Australian visionaries to contribute to the debate 'Creating aVision of a Greater Australia - Big Ideas for a Big Country',  the theme for Apop's 5th Summit being held in Darwin, Northern Territory on 13-14 October 2005. 

The Darwin Summit has attracted great minds from around Australia, including:

* His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC, Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia,
* The Honourable Clare Martin MLA, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, 
* The Honourable John Button,
* Dr Anne Summers AO, Author and Journalist,
* Mrs Angela Shanahan, Columnist with News Ltd and Canberra Times,
* Major General John Hartley (Rtd),
* Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Director Environment Unit, Institute of Public Affairs, 
* Ivan Deveson AO, Chairman, CEDA,
* The Hon Dr Barry Jones AO,
* Bernard Salt, Partner, KPMG ,
* Jeremy Reynolds, Victorian Department of Sustainability & Environment,
* MaryAnn Bin-Sallik, Dean of Indigenous Research and Education, CDU.

Jane Nathan, President of Apop says these speakers will begin creating a vision for a greater Australia.

"Australia needs a vision that we can all aspire to. How that happens and in what way needs to be debated, and that debate needs to be driven
by Australian leaders and policy makers," says Ms Nathan.
"This Summit has attracted great and gutsy minds from around Australia willing to put the debate firmly on the table. They will begin creating
a vision for a greater Australia. 
In moving forward however, we need planning and policy development from our leaders. It is they who need to recognise the consequences of not
acting now.
Reports and statements on population-related issues have ignited debate over the last few years, including Federal Treasurer The Hon Peter
Costello MP's 2002 Intergenerational Report which proposed incremental changes in policy direction to meet the projected deficit black hole in
40 years to come. 
Subsequently, a discussion paper released by Mr Costello in 2004 suggested Australians are facing dire consequences in the next 3-4
decades if we don't act now, with projections of workforce growth rates declining to zero and baby boomers increasing to some 25% of our whole
population. "
Ms Nathan says economic modelling such as this is welcomed by Apop.
"Research suggests it costs lots more to support an older person than a younger person, at a cost ratio of about 5 to 3. Increasing the
retirement age is an option, however, is there demand for older people, especially those outside the urban centres?
Apop believes we need to do four things to address the effects of ageing. These are - increase fertility rate, increase immigration,
increase our retirement age and continue with productivity and participation improvements.
This will result in a more diverse workforce, but more importantly, a more sustainable society."
Ms Nathan says Australia's population debate goes beyond our ageing population. 
"Australia is experiencing a fertility rate of around 1.72. To replace ourselves, to be able to service our expanding ageing population, to
defend and keep Australia secure, and to maintain a workforce that can provide services for our whole population, we need a fertility rate of
around 2.1," says Ms Nathan. 
"We need leadership in changing social and economic policies to increase fertility rates. If fertility remains low, there will be major
demographic affects. A major challenge is to change society's attitude to children. 
Lifestyle and career pressures, the increasing costs of childcare services, income restraints from long absences while women give birth
and raise families, are significant contributors to the number of children families are willing to bear." 
Ms Nathan suggests we need to ask ourselves what is the workforce of the future, and how might the structure of work and taxation have to change.
"These issues need leadership," Ms Nathan says. 
"What about the immigration debate? Where should we attract immigrants from? Where would they settle? However immigration on its own is not
the answer to a low fertility rate. 
Although there are signs now, the real impact of our low fertility rates will not be felt for at least another twenty years. 
Once population decline really kicks in, researchers suggest it will be very hard to stop, with severe ramifications.
We are calling for leadership. Australia needs to create a vision for a greater Australia, starting now."


 Euro English (From Margie Bass, Belmont, WA)

Please read slowly and carefully, preferably aloud.    

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

 In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. 

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

 In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

 Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away. By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

 During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

 Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

 Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.


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