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The Independent Weekly
June 11 - 17, 2010
The Independent Weekly is a South Australian owned and operated newspaper, taking an independent view of local news, issues, business, sport and culture for all South Australians.
Printed by Rural Press Printing, Adelaide Rd, Murray Bridge, for the publisher.
Publication Date: June 11, 2010. Recommended and maximum price only.
Tel (08) 8224 1600
Fax (08) 8224 1650
Published by: Solstice Media Ltd, Suite 4, Cinema Place, Adelaide, SA, 5000 (off Vaughan Place).
GPO Box 114, Adelaide, South Australia 5001. ABN 63105598187
Newsroom fax (08) 8224 1660
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The SA detachment of the
Royal Navy Band could fold
if recommendations of a
review into the Navy Reserve
Also on the chopping block
are Dive Team Nine and the
Parade and Ceremonial Unit
attached to the local Royal
Australian Navy command.
Navy reservists concerned
about the cutbacks say the
plan contradicts South
Australia s growing defence
profile. "The next time they
have a ceremony down at
the Australian Submarine
Corporation s facility there
will be no one to play Pride
of the Fleet," one reservist
"More importantly, our
role in dawn services, official
welcomes and departures,
ANZAC Day and other
occasions is under threat."
The navy says on its
website that "the band is
one of the few platforms in
which the navy can deliver
its message to the people
of Australia". The head
of SA s naval command
Michael Doherty, confirmed
"There is a reserve salaries
management review that is
being conducted as part of a
and one of the options being
proposed is a reduction in
reservist days," he said.
"The figures and the plan
haven t been finalised yet."
The navy band based at
Keswick has 24 members,
all reservists. The dive team
has eight reservists and the
parade and ceremonial unit
has 22 reservists.
Other than the reserve
personnel, there are 78
regular navy personnel
based in SA.
"Reserve day allocations
vary considerably," Cdr
Doherty said. "In some areas
we have reservists who do
100 days a year and in other
areas it might be 20 days per
person per year.
"The allocation relates to
the position, not the person."
Reservists have told The
Independent Weekly expendi-
ture cuts are "tinkering with
key defence traditions" while
not addressing wider issues
"Traditions such as the
band go back to the 1870s and
are a feature of our way of
life," one said. "Hopefully
some public outcry will stop
cutting areas where savings
are minor, but whose long-
term impacts are major."
Defence officials confirmed
this week a decision on any
cuts will be made later this
is facing the axe.
Premier Mike Rann arrives
home this weekend from
his mystery overseas trip
to a series of crises which could
continue until the state budget on
Deep divisions within the ALP
over the increasingly erratic
performance of deputy Labor
leader Kevin Foley grew this week,
following his admissions he misled
parliament, couldn t remember a
vital meeting or what was discussed
at it, does not and cannot under-
stand computers despite being the
Treasurer, and wasn t "the sharpest
tool in the kit" over his bungling of
the Adelaide Oval redevelopment
But Mr Foley s mensis horribilis
is likely to get worse, with depress-
ing signs about the financial year
Business confidence in South
Australia tumbled by a record level
during the quarter, surpassing
the falls experienced during the
height of the global financial crisis,
according to the Sensis Business
Index released yesterday.
Report author Ms Christena
Singh said business confidence in
SA had plummeted on the back of
negative conditions in the local area
and weak demand.
The business sector is worried
that Mr Foley s September budget
will be a typical post-election mix of
spending cuts and higher taxes.
The Government has already said
it wants to slash more than $500
million over three years.
Yesterday, Mr Foley announced
that thousands of government fees
and charges would rise from July 1.
Slipping just 5km above the speed
limit will now incur a fine of almost
$200. The average water bill will go
up by $84 a year, a massive increase
of more than 20 per cent.
Car registration, bus fares, and
even flushing the toilet will cost
more -- sewerage charges are up by
4 per cent.
South Australian businesses are
expecting trading and economic
conditions to deteriorate further
during the next 12 months.
Employment by small businesses
did improve during the quarter, but
from last quarter s low level.
"We are still seeing a landscape
where more businesses in South
Australia are shedding staff than
hiring, and lack of work remains
the key barrier to employment," Ms
Nationally, the housing industry
is back in the basement, with
figures released by Master Builders
Australia showing housing finance
commitments fell for the seventh
consecutive month in April.
"The combination of rising
interest rates and the hangover
from the First Home Owner 'boost
scheme threatens the housing
recovery," said Master Builders
chief economist Peter Jones.
Beyond the capital, SA farmers
told the latest Rabobank rural
survey their confidence for the
future declined for the third
consecutive quarter. Concerns
about falling commodity prices are
having the biggest negative impact
on confidence, and confidence is
lowest among the state s grain
But the lingering effects of the
drought are still apparent, with
Agriculture Minister Michael
O Brien having to inject another
$4 million into the state s drought
But the money won t go direct to
struggling primary producers and
It will pay for "regional
taskforces, drought co-ordinators
and community councillors".
Ex-premier Dean Brown got more
than $800,000 over three years for
advising the Government on a
Meanwhile, Mr O Brien told
Riverland irrigators they can
expect cuts to their water alloca-
tions of up to 40 per cent.
"There s probably nothing more
debilitating in the longer term than
having communities year in, year
out reliant on government assist-
ance," Mr O Brien said, presumably
speaking about farmers and not Mr
The news comes as new figures
suggest SA will benefit practically
not at all from floods in the Upper
Darling, because the water will
be kept in on-farm storages in
Queensland and NSW, and in the
giant Menindee Lakes system near
And yesterday the Opposition
called for the sacking of Robyn
McLeod from her $300,000 job as
Water Security Commissioner.
Shadow River Murray minister
Mitch Williams said crucial
independent modelling data had
been left out of the Government s
Water for Good document.
"Water security is a major
concern for all South Australians
and to have it put at risk by a dodgy
water plan is unacceptable. Robyn
McLeod must go," he said.
The news from Canberra is
similarly discomforting. Mr Rann
promised during the election
campaign that the design and build
of Australia s 12 new submarines
would be worth $30 billion to the
But evidence before a Senate
estimates committee now reveals
other countries are being consulted
about design work.
On the employment front, the
number of job advertisements fell
by almost 20 per cent last month,
despite an increase nationally.
SA suffered a dramatic 41 per
cent drop in mineral exploration,
according to ABS figures released
on Wednesday, against a national
fall of just 15 per cent.
But the government remains
confident that SA will begin to
benefit from increased mining and
"SA has grown from four operat-
ing mines in 2002 to 12 this year,"
Mines Minister Paul Holloway said
Cutbacks have Royal Navy Band on the run
Black day for budget in red
SA Refugee Week 2010
JAM USA/0632/04 CRICOS PROVIDER NO 00121B
Our State's recognition of the contribution made by refugees to our
community -- events, forums, open days, cultural activities and celebrations.
Details at www.mrcsa.com.au/june.html
Monday 21 June -- Saturday 26 June 2010.
SA Refugee Week is supported by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre.
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