Home' Plains Producer : Plains Producer Jauary 30, 2014 Contents Cost watch
Funding 'vital' for
AMG's export push
Plains Producer,Thursday, January 30, 2014
$500,000 in unpaid rates
more road repairs
ABOUT $500,000 in rates goes unpaid
each year, a fgure that could be rising accord-
ing to Wakefeld Regional Council corporate
services manager, Steve Jonas.
The matter was raised at last week’s council
meeting by Northern Ward councillor, Greg
Stevens, who asked if the rates in arrears fgure
was constantly close to the $500,000 fgure.
Mr Jonas said he had produced a report
on the subject a few years ago but suspected
that fgure was rising.He said the rates in ar-
rears was comprised of both people who were
paying their rates but behind in payments, and
those who fatly refuse to pay.
Council can compulsorily acquire a prop-
erty due to ongoing failure to pay rates and
can also charge two per cent interest on unpaid
rate revenue. Mr Jonas said when lined up
against other living expenses, often council
rates had the lowest priority.
“If people are struggling with their fnances,
and they’re faced with the choice of paying
mortgage or rent, electricity and water bills,
as well as council rates, we know where in
that order of priority we will be,” he said.
“It’s just something we know happens and
there’s always a certain amount in arrears.”
Council does offer regular payment options
for ratepayers on request, and Mr Jonas said
it was preferred people who were struggling
to pay their rates contact council.
He said he would prepare another report
into the matter.
“It’s something I would like to understand
more about,” Cr Stevens said.
“That’s a compounding problem added to
our budgeting issues.”
Council wrestles with
growing list of debtors
ANEW rating line for inten-
sive primary production could
potentially impact on smaller
farmers in the area, if it was
to be introduced following a
Local Government Associa-
tion (LGA) investigation into
This is associated with the
likes of chicken farms, which
while they are positive for
the economic development of
communities, they do place an
additional burden on council’s
resources, such as road main-
Concerns have been raised
by a number of regional
councils about the need for a
bolstered revenue stream to
account for the extra works
required on feeder roads lead-
ing to the respective production
Wakefeld Regional Council
discussed the matter at last
week’s council meeting, with
the technical terminology and
implications of a new rating
line keenly debated.
Several councillors raised
concerns regarding the term
‘intensive primary production’
and it was possible this could
relate to smaller farms and
feedlots for sheep and cattle.
“It would be good to have
another rating category, as
long as we can clarify what is
considered 'intensive primary
production’,” Western Ward
councillor, Darryl Pain said.
Southern Ward councillor,
Rodney Reid, was particularly
concerned with the use of the
word ‘intensive’and its applica-
tion to other farming properties,
not considered the primary mo-
tive behind a new rating line.
WRC corporate services
manager, Steve Jonas, said he
believed it would be very hard
for the State Government to
introduce the required legisla-
tion for councils to target a
particular industry in its rating
The LGA will investigate
the various options before
advising whether it is feasible.
• Chief executive offcer,
Cate Atkinson, was not present
at the meeting, due to being
away on annual leave.
THE ailing condition of
State government road works
in Balaklava and near Owen
were again raised at last week’s
Wakefeld Regional Council
The Department of Plan-
ning, Transport and Infra-
structure (DPTI) carried out
works on Gwy terrace and Port
Wakefeld road, Balaklava, and
the entry into Owen along the
Balaklava to Owen road, late
Throughout the harvest
period, the combination of hot
weather and increased heavy
traffc caused large portions of
the spray seal to peel from road
surfaces, creating large holes.
Central Ward councillor,
Maurice Tiller, requested an
update on what actions were
planned to fx the issue.
“Some residents are also
getting it confused as council’s
work,” he said.
WRC administration offcer,
Mike Rankine, said council
had been in constant talks with
DPTI to remediate the situation.
Mr Rankine said DPTI ad-
mitted it made a mistake with
the application rate of its primer
and the timing of the work was
less than ideal.
The project cost was about
$440,000, although that fgure
will balloon out considerably
to fx the issues with the surface
"There were considerations
to grade it all off and start again
but I believe they are looking
at options to patch it,” Mr
WRC chief executive of-
ficer, Cate Atkinson, had
confrmed council sent a letter
to DPTI senior management
regarding the poor state of
the roadworks but was yet to
receive a response.
... but rates plan
may sweep up
NEWLY appointed Australia
Milling Group northern states direc-
tor, Peter Wilson, believes govern-
ment investment in regional areas is
vital, given its reputation as a vital
and consistent driver of the national
Mr Wilson expressed his ap-
preciation for the $184,477 State
government funding support to assist
with an expansion of export facilities
at the company’s Bowmans site, an-
nounced by Regional Development
Minister, Gail Gago, last week.
“I’m very pleased to see the gov-
ernment spending money in regional
centres of South Australia,” he said.
“Manufacturing is extremely
important in country SA, so the gov-
ernment should be doing everything
it can to keep those manufacturing
operations in those regional areas.
“Our core business is based on
creating and operating good sites to
deliver grain to and giving farmers
the fexibility to mix up their rotations
of what they’re producing on farm.
“Then it’s about how we can
maximise the value of that quality
product on site.
“So that grant will be used on
projects focussed on asset invest-
ment, which will add more value to
our end product.”
After 25 years of involvement
with the Australian Wheat Board
and two years as chairman of Pulse
Australia, Mr Wilson said the na-
tion’s international reputation for
quality wheat and sheep produce was
spreading to pulses crops as well.
"As a specific region, South
Australia has been known as a great
quality producer for several years
now,” he said.
“The state is known for its clean
and dry growing of grain, pulses and
“While it doesn’t quite have the
same profle as wheat, our product
is well and truly on the way.
"Our desi chickpeas are consid-
ered the best in the world, along with
our lentils and faba beans, so our
plant breeders have done a superb
“A key part of our business is
farmers are dealing directly with the
company, who is practically dealing
with the end customer.
“From our site in South Australia,
it ends up in the international mills
where it is divided into various sized
bags and goes straight into the local
Mr Wilson said the company had
received fantastic support from the
local community and would continue
to work hard to return the favour.
“We welcome the support from
the local community and thank the
farmers for their loyalty and always
challenging us to do more for them,”
SAMPLING the product -- State Regional Development Minister, Gail Gago, with AMG SA operations
manager Hayden Battle, (centre) and Independent MP for the Frome electorate, Geoff Brock. Balaklava
and some nearby areas will move from Goyder to Frome at the March State election.
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