Home' InDaily : October 2nd 2009 Contents rising oceans • refugee crises • food shortages • under-employment • superannuation losses • housing
Phillip Adams AO (ABC National) will Chair and be joined
by panelists Annabel Crabb (political commentator with the
Sydney Morning Herald), Clare Martin (CEO of ACOSS and
former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory) and Professor
Dexter Dunphy AM (University of Technology, Sydney).
When: 6.30pm 7 October Venue: Elder Hall, University of Adelaide Cost: $35 General $27.50 Concession/DDF subscriber
Bookings: www.mybookingmanager.com/ddleadership T: 08 8303 3364 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
the gift of lousy times
5The Independent Weekly
October 2 - 8, 2009
South Australia is the only state
promising that pensioners will
get the full benefit of welfare
increases beyond next September.
Minister for Housing and
Ageing Jennifer Rankine said the
Rann Government had agreed
to "not take into account the
one-off increase" when calculating
housing trust rents, while other
states were planning to exclude
the pension rise from rental prices
only for a year.
Federal Minister for Ageing
Jenny Macklin announced last
month that the rate for a single
aged pension would be boosted
by $60 a fortnight, saying
pensioners had been waiting for
the "much-needed increase" for a
"These are the most significant
reforms to the pension since it was
introduced 100 years ago and are
a vital investment in preparing
Australia for the future," she said.
The reforms address a problem
with pension rates which saw
couples better off than singles,
Council on the Ageing national
chief executive Ian Yates said.
"The real reason for this
increase in the pension was to
adjust a historical injustice which
saw the single pensioner wrongly
paid for many years," he said.
Although the rise has just been
made effective, it was revealed in
the budget earlier this year. At the
time, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
wrote a letter to state and territory
governments instructing them to
let the full amount of the payment
flow directly to pensioners.
Housing Trust rent is calculated
at 25 per cent of a tenant s income,
and Mr Rudd wanted the pension
increase to be excluded from this
equation to make sure pensioners,
not governments, were receiving
the benefit of the federal money.
Ms Rankine said South
Australia was the first state to
agree to Mr Rudd s request by
quarantining the increase without
From September next year,
New South Wales and other states
will defy the Prime Minister and
raise rents in line with the federal
Farrin Foster St Clair land swap
battle heats up
Threats have allegedly been
made to Charles Sturt Council
staff over a controversial bid
to swap an established park with
a contaminated factory site in the
St Clair redevelopment.
Community consultation ended
last week on the proposal, which
would see part of the St Clair
reserve turned into a transit-
oriented development and the
contaminated Actil site used for
It is part of the greater plan to
develop the Cheltenham Racecourse
area and the shift will create a
continuous green passage through
Council CEO Mark Withers
said that three senior council
staff members had allegedly been
threatened by residents.
"Staff have been threatened over
the phone and in person by three
different residents," he said.
Mr Withers said although the
threats were considered serious, the
council would not involve the police
at this stage.
"In public life all sorts of threats
are made, but it will be dealt with in
an appropriate manner."
Mr Withers said feedback on the
land swap was being analysed, with
a response likely to be given to the
council by late October.
An email from Mr Withers
last week warned councillors of
an escalation in the severity of
complaints regarding the St Clair
"It is easy to dismiss such threats
but occasionally you have to take
stock and make sure we have the
procedures in place to deal with the
matter and that staff and council
members feel supported and safe
doing their jobs," Mr Withers said
in the email.
"I encourage you not to accept
any threatening behaviour, if it
is directed towards you, over the
course of this project."
However, Mr Withers said these
complaints were the exception,
with the overall response to the
proposal being "positive and
The Cheltenham Park Residents
Association s Carol Faulkner was
shocked by the threats.
"It s terrible. No matter how
passionately people feel about the
land swap proposal, they shouldn t
stoop to this sort of behaviour."
She said no CPRA members were
involved and that the incidents
could impact on the group s efforts
to stop the St Clair development.
"One of the things we are trying
to get is a public meeting, and now
a couple of councillors are too
scared to hold a public meeting," Ms
She said Woodville and
Cheltenham residents were
outraged over the land swap.
They say a park their children
play in should not be swapped for
"The council is saying it is
swapping like for like but that s
clearly not the case. They are
swapping pristine parkland for
contaminated ex-industrial land."
It is not the first time the St Clair
Reserve has faced the prospect of
being turned into housing.
In 1942, the Commonwealth
Government attempted to
acquire the land for defence
housing, but was stopped by the
Woodville Council. Then, in 1964,
a council proposal to develop the
reserve for commercial use was
overwhelmingly voted down by
Charles Sturt Councillor Robert
Grant, who voted against the latest
proposal, said the decision to swap
the land was preposterous.
"Why would we swap a pristine
piece of land facing Woodville Road
for the former Actil cotton mill
that s been contaminated with all
kinds of things?" he said.
Mr Grant said the council area
had one of the lowest percentages
of open space in the country and
needed to make the most of what it
had. "We have sporting teams that
want to play, but can t because they
don t have enough space."
Mr Grant said it would not be
possible to plant deep-rooted trees
on the Actil site because of the
contamination, and this would leave
the new park without significant
Woodville resident Kirsten
Alexander has been a regular
patron of the St Clair oval.
"I m a mum with two young kids
who has been visiting that park
for 16 years. And there are other
residents like me in the area who
have found out about it and are
absolutely horrified," Ms Alexander
"Our main concern is that we lose
a 60-year-old park. This wouldn t
happen in the eastern suburbs.
"We are also going to lose a large
number of significant trees.
"I did a petition on the weekend
signatures saying they are opposed
to it and that they either hadn t
heard about it or didn t really know
what was going on."
Last week, the Cheltenham
Park Residents Association lost a
Supreme Court bid for a judicial
review into the SA Government s
approval of a plan for the housing
development on the Cheltenham
Ms Faulkner said the CPRA would
decide at a meeting tonight whether
it would appeal the decision.
"Personally, I hope we do
(appeal)," she said. "But there s
a lot of things for the members to
consider, in particular the threat of
It is not suggested that either of
the residents quoted were in any
way involved in making the alleged
threats to Charles Sturt Council staff.
Kirsten Alexander: outraged by proposal to swap this park for contaminated land.
Photo: Kate Elmes
Over 50s, Be Heard!
National Seniors Australia
is holding a community
consultation forum to hear what
your priorities are for the 2010
South Australian State election
JOIN US AND HAVE YOUR SAY
8 October 2009
10:30am - 12:30pm
Way Hall, Pitt Street, Adelaide
RSVP: 8218 4811 or email email@example.com
For more information visit www.nationalseniors.com.au
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