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:
2017 Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony
I would like to begin by acknowledging the Ngadjuri and Kaurna (Garna) people as the traditional owners and custodians of the lands on which we come together today. I pay respect to their Elders both past and present and to their culture – the oldest living culture on earth.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen and to all those young people present today. Good morning and a very warm welcome to the 2017 Australia Day Awards, Citizenship Ceremony and breakfast. It is indeed an honour to address you this morning and to make these presentations on Australia's National Day. It's certainly very pleasing to see so many of our citizens here in this excellent venue developed and managed by the Kapunda Harness Racing Club.
Events such as this don’t just happen and I would take this opportunity to acknowledge all those volunteers who have contributed to this special event, in particular, our hosts the wonderful ladies from the Kapunda CWA, The Kapunda Rotary Club and Council staff members Lorinda Bailey and Stacie Dickson. The venue is certainly well appointed and a credit to all concerned and on behalf of Council I sincerely thank you for your considerable efforts in organising this special celebration.
We are here today to celebrate the spirit of the Nation but for all of us it is also an occasion to give thanks for our good fortune - for the unique beauty of our land, diversity of its wildlife and natural riches on this our National Day. We will also conduct a Citizenship Ceremony during which six of our residents will make a pledge and be welcomed as new Australian Citizens. I am pleased to say Australia has immigrants from more than 170 countries bringing to our great southern land their cultures, knowledge, skills and strong work ethic for which we are grateful and which has been to Australia’s benefit.
In addition, as part of the Australia Day Awards Ceremony Council will recognise and reward our Young Citizen of the Year, the Community Event of the Year and Citizen of the Year and this year a new category Community Project of the Year. I would take this opportunity to also thank those caring people who provided the submissions for Council to consider in making these Awards a little later.
Before I continue, it may be appropriate to take a moment to reflect on the past year, in a world that continues to beset by turbulence and anxiety, religious and racial conflict, economic upheaval, the ever present threat of terrorism and the uncertainties of climate change. However we should never loose sight of the many wonderful things that happen around us and the great nations of the world (including Australia) that continue to stand strong against evil and do so much to protect our planet.
It’s an appropriate time to also spare a thought for those members of the Australian Defence Forces and others currently serving our nation overseas in the endeavour to bring peace and understanding in war torn countries. I am sure the continued supreme efforts of the Australian Forces in Afghanistan will leave that country and its people in better shape than when they arrived. Australian forces continue assist and support the people in Syria, Iraq, and across the Middle East to restore democracy and freedom to those countries. Gratefully, in our country Australians live together as one people in a nation blessed by political stability and a strong sense of goodwill and social harmony.
Many wonderful events took place around Australia during the past year and we all have a lot to be thankful for. We are indeed in many ways the ‘Lucky Country’.
Australia Day is indeed a time to celebrate so many good things which have come our way. It is also a time to reflect on the past and realise that we can only be rewarded by our own efforts. In regards to the future, we all need to think of how we contribute as citizens within our community and society. It is not good enough to take no responsibility and just say ‘no worries’ ‘blame others’ and simply take what's on offer and put nothing back. This is just not the ‘Australian’ way. I am confident the Australian spirit of "mateship" and giving people a fair go and lending a hand to others a little less fortunate than ourselves remains in the forefront of our minds and defines the spirit of our nation. This practice is very much alive in our region and there is considerable evidence and there will certainly be examples of this presented today.
Nevertheless it was not all good news:
For the last three years as part of my Australia Day address I spoke of bushfires and other natural disasters across Australia and the wonderful contribution made by the many volunteers in the emergency services and others…We are all aware in late November 2015 the Pinery Bush Fires ravaged many parts of our region. Two lives were lost along with thousands of animals, homes, equipment and crops were destroyed. The reliance and ‘can do’ attitude of many of those effected has been extraordinary and a great example of the true ‘Aussie spirit’. Once again I remind you of the courage and selfless efforts of the CFS, MFS, SA Police & other Emergency Services were outstanding. The generosity of local residents and other South Australians in supporting those affected should not go unrecognised. I would also acknowledge the many other selfless volunteers who continue to assist in the recovery process and take this opportunity to pay a special tribute to all these very generous and committed people who make us proud to be Australian… We are grateful for all your efforts and thank you all so very much.
It would be remiss of me to not also recognise the excellent schools we have in our region all producing outstanding results educating students to the highest standards who will soon be our next leaders. To acknowledge this, I am honoured to present Mayoral Awards at both senior schools and Kapunda Rotary Club continue to present Rotary achievers Awards at two primary schools
Australia is a vast nation and during the last year, wide areas of our great southern land continued to suffer under some extraordinary weather conditions from drought to flooding rain. Thinking of the amazingly resilient Australians living in outback towns or on cattle stations and their connection to and love of the land. Australia Day is our National Day and a celebration of what makes this nation great. Thinking of this I was reminded of the words of a beautiful poem written by Kapunda Elder, John Rees titled ‘ Australia, My Holy Land’
I was born in this land of Australia. Terra Australis, the Great Southern Land, set beneath the Southern Cross. An ancient land of an ancient people created in the far-off Dreamtime, Forty Thousand years ago or more.
The colonists called it Terra Nullius but we know better now. Those ancient people were caring and wise, managed and nurtured the land, Their beloved mother earth Australia, their holy land.
Convicts and drunken sailors were sent and in just two hundred years we have almost brought it to ruin. Yet we have raised a skilful people and caring volunteers of every kind in Australia, this holy land.
A red earth land, a fragile land with fauna and flora unique; it has given me life, it has entered my soul. This great Southern Land I call home: Australia, this Holy Land….
Thank you John for your profound and beautiful words
As we head into a the new year we may need to ‘tighten our seat belts’ as I am confident you will enjoy the ride as new economic and regional projects and activities are rolled out across our region. It is certainly going to be an exciting journey and a great time to live in and enjoy all our region has to offer. For the future, I wish you and your families a healthy and prosperous New Year and all that life can offer. I am honoured and proud to be your Mayor and thank you for listening
Congratulations to all taking part in today’s Citizenship Ceremony. Australians have created a dynamic society in which each citizen can live a rich and meaningful life. In addition, Australians created a democracy that welcomes others to its shores, that awards each citizen the right to vote in open and free elections and is committed to equality of treatment before the law, and respects individual privacy so we can each live the life we value.
Australia Day Awards:
Australia Day Awards are designed to acknowledge those people and that have made a positive difference in our region, and the special events and projects that have made a significant contribution to our communities, social wellbeing and lifestyle. Without committed community minded people who volunteer and organisations prepared to organise and promote special events, our communities would be a poorer place. As a result of this combined contribution the very features of Australian life we celebrate today are greatly enhanced. I thank you one and all for your contribution and look forward to announcing the recipients of these Awards this morning.
13/12/16 Pre-Council Briefing Mayor, Deputy Mayor, CEO & GM’S
13/12/16 Council Meeting
16/12/16 Kapunda Christmas Street Party - Official Opening
18/12/16 Kapunda Town Carols - Mayor’s Christmas Message
19/12/16 Media Interview - Photo Shoot Barossa Leader - East Terrace Upgrade
22/12/16 Media Interview Tripple B/FM - Tanunda (60klms)
23/12/16 Council Staff & Councillors Christmas Break Up
10/01/17 Media Interview Advertiser Newspaper
16/01/17 Pines Conservation Reserve Committee Meeting
17/01/17 Council Workshop - Accelerated Works Program
18/01/17 Public Meeting - East Terrace Project
24/01/17 Pre-Council Briefing Mayor, Deputy Mayor, CEO & GM’s
24/01/17 Council Meeting.
Thank you President Geoff and good afternoon everybody.
I should begin by acknowledging Club President Geoff Redden and committee members and also to extend a special welcome to Senator Nick Xenophon and Member for Stuart Dan Van Holst Pellekaan MP and his wife Rebecca for taking the time from their busy schedules to be with us today.
It is indeed an honour to be invited to say a few words on this very special occasion. The Kapunda Bowling Club was formed in 1919 and has a long and distinguished history and is located in the town where the first game of bowls in SA was played in 1876. If I recall 'The Cattle King' Sir Sidney Kidman was a past president of this club.
To arrive at this opening today has been an extraordinary journey taken by a small but dedicated group of people in managing and completing this outstanding project. This was no easy task with many sceptics saying it won't happen.
I recall those early meetings with Phill Voumard & Geoff Redden sitting around a small table at the old IGA with them explaining their vision for the future of the Kapunda Bowling Club.
The original concept plan had been prepared by Council for a new centre to be located at Dutton Park in order to consolidate the sporting facilities in one location. The original budget required for the project was estimated be in excess of $5. million which I'm sure included 'gold plated' toilet seats and other unnecessary infrastructure. It was never going to happen.
The journey was about to begin as Geoff & Phill along with the committee had other ideas and a far more practical plan was produced and agreed to by the members of the bowling club and fully costed at around $1.1 million. The plan was subsequently presented to Council who supported the concept. It included Council purchasing the 'old' Bowling Club site and assisting in securing a loan from the Local Government Finance Authority on their behalf. This project was funded entirely by the Bowling Club.
The concept of constructing an undercover bowling facility was certainly visionary as there are only two others in the State. What is more important is that this facility was built by local tradesmen and volunteers with some 80 thousand hours donated by this band of dedicated community minded volunteers.
You can all hold your head up very high in being involved in what is more likely the largest community driven project in the towns history, and Kapunda has a long and distinguished history in community driven projects. In terms of the facility its self, it is more likely the finest in Australia and I don't think I'm exaggerating in saying possibly the world. I have done some research on this and all the evidence seems to point that way.
The project management was lead by Geoff & Phill with Master Builder Peter Costello overseeing the construction work. Other retired tradesmen also contributed their skills and were certainly greatly appreciated. The beautiful stone work along the front of the building was created by Master Stone Mason Ian Otterspoor a club champion who gave up a season of bowling to complete this task in his spare time. I am sure the club members will be forever grateful for your commitment Ian.
On behalf of Council and I am sure I can speak on behalf of the community in sincerely thank you all for your splendid efforts in establishing the very fine sporting and recreational facility.
You have all done the the town proud in establishing a world class all weather facility to be enjoyed all year round by the club members and the many thousands of visitors it will attract. This is the jewel in the crown of the wonderful sporting facilities here at Dutton Park in Kapunda.
From a personal perspective as your Mayor I feel so proud to stand here today and personally thank you on your dedication and total commitment, and may you all enjoy the opportunity to play bowls all year round in this outstanding facility.....Your efforts confirm Community spirit remains alive and well in Kapunda and you should give yourselves a big 'pat on the back'...... Thank you for listening
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.
Go to Light Regional Council's website for more detailed information.
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