As Mayor of the Light Regional Council I take pride in conducting my civic duties and in representing and raising the profile of the region. I strongly believe that people come first, and will always stand up for the rights and expectations of residents to ensure fairness and address concerns for all our citizens.
Whenever possible, I will continue to encourage Council to protect our heritage and lifestyle in all towns and villages in the region that make this a great place to live and do business....This remains my highest priority.
Residents have rights and expectations of Council services and regularly updated information on Council operations will be posted on this site.
Please note some sections of this website are continually under construction so please check regularly for information updates.
The following is a 'snapshot' of the direction and priorities for my second term as Mayor:
28/04/16 Meeting Pinery Bushfire Concert - Seppeltsfield
29/04/16 Meeting Member for Wakefield Nick Champion MP - Tour Wingate Basin (NEXY)
03/05/16 Suicide Prevention Networks Forum - Freeling
04/05/16 Infrastructure Committee Meeting
06/05/16 Meeting Community Development Officer - Opening Ceremonies Hewett
10/05/16 Media Interview ABC Radio 639 - Election Posters
10/05/16 Volunteers Afternoon Tea - Thank You - Freeling
11/05/16 Family & Domestic Violence Expo & Forum - Hewett
11/05/16 Barossa Tourism Board Inc Meeting - Tanunda
13/05/16 Board Meeting - Central Local Government Region- Maitland
14/05/16 Pinery Bush Fire Recovery Concert - Seppeltsfield
17/05/16 Tour Regional Roads - Council
19/05/16 Meeting Regional Development Australia
20/05/16 Hewett Playground Media Shoot Tony Piccolo MP Hewett
20/05/16 Hewett Shared Use Path - Official Opening Senator Shaun Edwards - Hewett
20/05/16 Ageing In Style Expo Official Opening - Hewett Centre
20/05/16 Multi-Purpose Equine Centre Proposal RDA Barossa Economic Impact Review - Gawler
24/05/16 Pre- Council Briefing CEO, Mayor, Deputy Mayor & GM'S
24/05/16 Council Meeting
The Pinery Recovery Concert
Pinery Fires - 25th November 2015
2 Lives were lost.
5 People critically injured
85,000 Hectares of farm land was scorched, 87 Homes and 384 outbuildings and 98 tractors and vehicles were destroyed, 1000s of farm animals died, livelihoods lost; severe emotional scarring has occurred which now requires counselling; school children cry when they smell smoke. Our native fauna and flora along with thousands of trees have been wiped out; yet our community and the many individuals effected stay strong, resilient and proud as they fight for recovery.
As the Mayor of one of those Council areas significantly hit by this devastating and catastrophic fire, I have been overwhelmed by the extraordinary response by the many community leaders and ordinary people who put their hand up to help. I should also acknowledge those Councils who have contributed time and resources during the recovery phase.
Vince Monterola, the Local Recovery Co-ordinating officer and his team, hit the ground running and have continued to do an outstanding job in providing the necessary leadership and direction and most of all on the ground assistance.... Thank you Vince
I would also acknowledge and thank the Council staff who have courageously dealt with the many issues emanating from this tragedy and the emotions surrounding individual situations in a professional and caring manner.
Apart from the outstanding contribution from the CFS, SES, MFS, SAPOL and SA Ambulance, others that deserve recognition and our sincere gratitude are the many volunteers within our communities who have given so much time to assist with donations of short term shelter, clothing, household items and the preparation of food to feed those working in the field, such as BlazeAid volunteers who have not only been rebuilding fences, but helping to rebuild community spirit.
Importantly, it has been the ordinary people in the community who have demonstrated incredible strength and leadership; some of you are here this evening, however too many to mention. Please forgive me if I have overlooked any group or any organisation.
To set the mood of reflection about the Pinery Bushfire I will shortly introduce Wes Carr who has written a very stirring tribute song that pays respect to Mrs Janet Hughes and Mr Allan Tiller who both lost their lives in this horrendous fire on that fateful day 25th November 2015. Wes will perform his tribute song which is also about a community who have endured such a devastating ordeal. Wes's powerful and moving song titled 'Hell Fire' will graphically tell the story.
There will also be a 'silent auction' of an amazing painting produced by Light Regional Council's CEO Brian Carr which illustrates the enormity, the incredible force, and the devastating effects of the fires. For all those bidding for the painting and other items at the silent auction, I thank you in advance and I know you will give generously and enjoy doing this.
The Pinery Fires song; 'Hellfire' along with another song on this special Edition CD can be purchased tonight for $10.00, all the proceeds from the sales and the painting auction will go to the Pinery Fires Recovery Program and the Freeling Community Centre.
Your Council. local communities and local people have felt the effects of this devastation greater than any other in our history and we, as a community, have responded with pride, respect and humility. We are determined in our efforts in rebuilding our communities and will continue support for those who have been effected. In closing, to all those courageous and selfless people out there and you know who you are, you can all hold your head up very high and on behalf of your Council our people and communities I sincerely salute you.
Thank you for listening.
National Volunteers Week - Thank You MorningTea
Freeling Institute 2pm Tuesday 10th May 2016
Give Happy - Live Happy
Thank you Lorinda! To the Volunteers, Councillors, Ladies and Gentlemen, I extend to you all a very warm welcome to this Afternoon Tea designed to acknowledge and say thank you to our volunteers. I would also take this opportunity to acknowledge Council's Community Development Officer Lorinda Bailey for her introduction and outstanding efforts in organising this special occasion.
May I begin by sharing a quote that really resonates with me.."Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the numbers of moments that take our breath away". I am sure we can all recall some special moments in our life that through the generous help and assistance of others this would apply. An immediate example comes to mind with the incredible response to the recent catastrophic Pinery Bushfires and the recovery process with people from all over State and volunteer groups such as Blazeaid giving so generously of their time and resources. Notwithstanding the selfless volunteers in all our Emergency Services and those generous people who donated goods and the efforts of in particular, the Freeling & Kapunda Thrift Shops in distributing these goods. Let's not to forget also the many volunteers who assisted with the massive 'clean up' efforts. People helping people in true 'Aussie tradition' of 'standing by your mate'.
As we approached National Volunteer Week with which as Lorinda mentioned has the same theme again this year 'Give Happy - Live Happy' my thoughts turned to the 6 million volunteers who contribute some 700 million hours of unpaid work across Australia. Research also says that those volunteers are happier as a result.
The economic contribution to this country's economy is extraordinary and estimated to be more than 40 billion dollars more likely outstripping mining, agriculture and the retail sector.
The incredible contribution volunteers make to our communities, include but are not restricted to, building and managing resources, providing emergency services, health services and adding to the wellbeing of individuals along with the social fabric of communities in general. Volunteering is a quintessential Australian trait and you are extraordinary people who continue to demonstrate Australia's proud culture of giving.
As I look around the room I see so many familiar and friendly faces. Each face tells a story; so many faces, so many stories. You come from all walks of life. You have many different life experiences and yet you have at least one thing in common, your willingness to give your time to others. We are humbled by your generosity of spirit and your compassion for your fellow human beings. It is all of you who so generously give of your time, skills and passion and you're caring. It is all of you, doing what you do, who take my breath away.
Volunteers build communities, share their joy and laughter and sometimes shed a tear. They bring a kind word and warm heart and empathy to a person who is unwell, lonely or scared. They are dedicated, compassionate and willing to give their time to others. What volunteers receive in return is a sense of achievement and satisfaction of being able to help somebody in need. They gain experience in communicating with people. They develop new friendships amongst other volunteers and they grow in confidence. I have seen powerful personal journeys where people have flourished when their confidence has grown through their volunteering. The roles they perform, the people they meet, and the time and compassion given through all of this, they have reached great personal growth. Volunteers have a commitment to building and managing resources within communities across our region and there are many fine examples of this. Many of you are in this room today.
I would like to finish up by reciting a little poem I am not sure of its origin but I thought the words captured what I tried to portray on this occasion.
Dedicated hearts like yours
Are not so easy to find
It takes a special person to be
So generous and kind
To care so much for your fellow man
Is a quality all too rare
Yet you give of your time and talents
For all in need to share
So thank you for being a volunteer
We're privileged to work with you
We want you to know how appreciated you are
Not just today, but the whole year through
Thanks a million for volunteering and please enjoy each others company and Afternoon Tea and I look forward to meeting and talking with you... Thank you for listening
To clarify any concerns regarding current planning application fees and charges for those effected in the Light Regional Council area by the Pinery Bushfire a Council resolution reduced the lodgement and planning assessment fees to the minimum statutory fee.
Council's Chief Executive Officer, under delegation, has advised me that the minimum statutory fees will be waived on application for replacement of damaged or destroyed structures from within the fire affected area.
This approach effectively waives the Development Application fees – see attached Media Release.
The ill-informed views being expressed that the Council is "profiteering from victims" is WRONG and deliberately inciting unjustified community concern. This is irresponsible to a local community trying desperately to recover from the effects of the Pinery Fires.
Go to Light Regional Council's website for more detailed information.
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