The closure of the North Shields beach to vehicles is bureaucracy gone mad. The now-blocked beach access at the north end of the stone wall was used by the majority of vehicles to access the northern end of the beach to fish, exercise pets in privacy or just find a peaceful spot away from other beachgoers.
The Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council (LEPDC) blocked the northern vehicle access point a few months ago. This forced vehicles to access the northern end of the beach via the access point at the boat ramp, therefore putting people populating the southern end at higher risk, although I have never seen issues there myself.
If the decision had been made in consultation with all beach users - to close the first 900 metres of the beach to vehicles to protect the public - I don't think the majority would have had an issue.
The ludicrous situation now is that the beach is closed to vehicles for the first 900 metres and open to vehicles beyond that point.
Unfortunately there is no vehicle access point that will legally allow vehicles to access the north end of the beach beyond the 900-metre vehicle exclusion zone.
So driving to the north end of the North Shields beach will be breaking the law, but only for the first 900 metres of the journey. What is next? Fishery Bay? Farm Beach?
The Lions Hostel is managed and run by Port Lincoln Lions Club. We are volunteers providing a facility that is affordable to schools and other groups with lots of room to have fun and make a bit of noise away from the public. We are a not-for-profit organisation with all money raised from the public, after expenses, going back to the community.
We have suffered some vandalism of the premises. This deliberate destruction of a public facility is unacceptable. More than 400 man-hours were spent by volunteers getting the hostel up to scratch. We are very proud of what we have achieved and to say we are disappointed is an understatement.
The District Council of Ceduna, along with other councils across the state, are being forced, under changes contained in the newly assented Statutes of Amendment (Local Government Review Act) 2021, to assess rates, by 2024-2025, based on Capital Value rather than on the previously-used method of Site Value (Unimproved value).
Changing the rating system, from site value to capital value, results in a reduction for some ratepayers and an excessive increase for others under the guise that it is "more equitable". It means those who take little care of their property will be rewarded with a reduction while those who take pride in improving their property's value will be penalised with an exorbitant increase. In March last year it was reported some Port Augusta ratepayers would face rate increases up to 22 per cent due to this state government-enforced change.
On July 3, the Port Augusta City Council conducted a special meeting to review and consider dozens of submissions complaining about this proposal to change their rating system with the council voting later to cap these increases for some ratepayers at only 20 per cent. It is a problem for Australians who value and appreciate their possessions and have higher aspirations for securing their financial future.
It would seem the days when hard work and personal effort were rewarded are gone with some residents facing high rate increases during a time of exceedingly low wage growth. I fail to see how this new rating system is "more equitable".