Updated Weekly

Monday 17 February 2014

Special Edition 71

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Regional Express Airlines say proposed changes could stop planes from landing in remote town

FLIGHTS to Coober Pedy could be axed if a proposed aviation rule change suggesting the town’s airport runway is too narrow and needs to be widened goes ahead.
Regional Express Airlines Network Strategy and Sales manager Warrick Lodge says a Civil Aviation Safety Authority draft advisory publication suggests the 18m sealed runway at Coober Pedy Airport needs to be 30m wide for certain planes to land safely.
He said an exemption which had allowed the airline’s 34-seat Saab 340 planes to land on the narrow runway would be removed under the new proposal, meaning the aircraft could no longer land there.
Coober Pedy Council chief executive Phil Cameron said almost $720,000 is needed to widen the runway and a Federal funding application to help cover costs had been declined.
Rex flights to the remote town, 800km from Adelaide, operate up to six days a week and carry more than 10,000 passengers.

“We have landed safely at the airport for many years, we don’t see a problem,” Mr Lodge said.
“The Coober Pedy route is one of our most relied on and if it is cut, it will make the town even more isolated.”
Mr Lodge raised his concerns in a submission to the Federal Government's Aviation Safety Regulation Review last week.
About 80 per cent of workers at IMX Resources Cairn Hill mine, 55km from Coober Pedy, fly in and out of the town aboard Rex flights.
But the company’s general manager, Simon Parsons, said he was most concerned about the impact it would have on the small community if a ‘workable solution’ is not found.
A CASA spokesman said: “the new rule in relation to narrow runways is not yet in force. Consultation with the aviation industry has taken place but no final rule has been issued yet.”

Be on the lookout for counterfeit notes - police issue warning

SA Police News
Police are investigating the presentation of a counterfeit $50 note which was passed at a local business in Port Augusta yesterday.

This follows on from two other incidents in January where counterfeit $50 notes were passed.
The first two notes were of poor quality however the latest note had the plastic or waxy feel of an authentic note.
Retailers should be aware of the following features and be vigilant when accepting notes of a higher denomination.
The counterfeit notes have been:
• Lighter or darker colouration to original notes;
• Have a matte paper feel rather than a gloss plastic feel;
• Have been smaller than an original note and on one occasion the note was not cut straight;
• The clear security window has been glued and white paint used to outline the window and star insignia.
Each note has featured a different serial number.
If anyone has any information about this matter, they are asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online

Letter to Editor

The proposal to change our constitution to recognize Indigenous Australians needs to be carefully considered by everyone.
The 22 member panel charged with drafting the changes envisages creating a "power" for the advancement of Indigenous Australians.
They also envisage the changes protecting the language and culture of Indigenous Australians.
There is no question that our constitution should be changed to remove any racism.
However, any "power" that favours Indigenous Australians would undermine the multi-cultural and equal treatment basis of our society.
Our constitution should mention that at the time of European settlement there were Indigenous people living here.
But it should also make it clear that this does not imply that Indigenous Australians have a right to treatment that is not also available to all other Australians.
We're all migrants. It's just that some of us got here before others.
If the first to arrive (Indigenous Australians) are to have special constitutional provision for their advancement then my mob, who arrived around 200 years ago, demand special constitutional provision for their advancement over those who arrived more recently.
Yes, it's obviously nonsense. Once you start making special provision for one group you're automatically and unfairly discriminating against all other groups.
There is already a push to convert the collective ownership of land, Indigenous land rights, into individual freehold ownership.
If Indigenous Australians can acquire the individual freehold ownership of land at either no cost or a reduced cost, then this would quite rightly undermine our society.
The Mabo decision was one which can be equated with the western legal principle of adverse possession.
Unfortunately, this was misused to justify the Indigenous land rights we have today.
What about the spiritual relationship that some Indigenous individuals claim that they have with the land?
This relationship is such that it allows for the land to be dug-up and shipped off to China and other countries, for an appropriate financial consideration.
We're supposed to believe that "Indigenous disadvantage" is purely the result of how badly they've been treated by history and the wider community.
Apparently, unlike the rest of us, their individual behaviour has no connection to their present state of living.
This idea is itself completely racist. Where the wider community has free will, Indigenous Australians are supposed to be merely pawns in a game over which they have no control.
It's sad and ironic that seeing Indigenous Australians as mere victims has played a part in maintaining their present state of "disadvantage".
To what extent does the granting of land rights and living in remote communities play a part in the present "disadvantage" experienced by many Indigenous people?
Does Indigenous culture itself play a part in maintaining "Indigenous disadvantage"?
Under changes to the constitution will it be illegal to even pose such a question?
Changing our constitution for the protection of the language and culture of Indigenous Australians is to give "special" treatment to Indigenous culture.
The historical fact is that the only truly "special' culture is that of western civilization.
This is the culture which gave us democracy, modern medicine, science, technology, rational philosophy, literature, and our legal system: nothing less than the culmination of Human intellectual evolution.
All other cultures, to a greater or lesser extent, involve irrational and superstitious beliefs and practices.
Everyone is free to engage in irrational and superstitious beliefs and practices.
They often try to justify these under the title of "culture".
Not only should such beliefs and practices not contravene our laws, but they should also be pursued at the expense of those who wish adhere to such belief and practices.
What makes Australia stand out is the way in which it treats all its citizens equally under the law.
We must not throw this away out of a misguided sense of guilt about the present state of Indigenous "disadvantage".
We need to stop romanticizing about traditional cultures, and place them in their appropriate context: the past.
We need to stop trying to undo the injustices of the past by creating injustices in the present and future.
Indigenous Australians will overcome their "disadvantage" when they're prepared to embrace, equally with all other individuals, the advantages that a modern western society like Australia has to offer.
Instead of seeing the European settlement of Australia as a destructive invasion, it should be seen for what it really was: the arrival of western civilization that was the foundation in the making of Australia as a unique and progressive member of the modern world.
Stephen Mooney
57 Shamrock Street
Victoria. 3550

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