Imagine the rumpus should a few graders, and low loaders …

Comment on Rural land misuse in Tollner’s too hard basket by Trevor Shiell.

Imagine the rumpus should a few graders, and low loaders suddenly arrive on Stevens Road, push over an acre of virgin bush and set up a road making camp with other associated vehicles.
Yet that is what is happening in the rural areas, without any constraint.
It is now so brazen that no zone change signs were displayed, and no action taken by Government. Too hard says Tollner, without admitting that this came about here (as well as in Ilparpa) because of very poor planning and complete lack of forethought.
There are industrial sites at Brewer specifically to cater for this with housing on site on the same zoning as in Cameron St, and where roads are engineered for heavy transport.
RL zoning was and still is the cheapest option for businesses to re locate to, and the brutal truth is that industrial land is not as lucrative to the land dealer vested interests as housing in town, so little attention is paid to its marketing and promotion.
Because of the Gap and its restrictions, development south of the Gap will inevitably be restricted unless a new commercial entity is recognized and built in the vicinity of Brewer where future industrial development will occur and job opportunities will grow.
One has only to stand at the Gap during the early morning rush hour to appreciate the traffic flows south to where the work is and the reverse in the late afternoon.
Then add to that the proposed industrial development behind the cemetery also relying on housing and the commercial centre north of the Gap, and the traffic implications imposed by the Gap should have been obvious, and not in the best public interest.
Kilgariff was a gigantic mistake in planning. It should have been a vibrant display of what could be done here other than housing.
The housing development should have been at Brewer as the centre of a new commercial entity based around where the jobs will be in the future. What we are seeing now is a direct result of this lack of foresight and has resulted in a situation which Tollner claims is too hard.
This has been pointed out several times, the first being the consultants to Kilgarriff who pointed out that development follows the rail, but ignored by Government. The imperative in the latest Budget to aid the construction industry adds credence to the concept of a new commercial entity at Brewer would do wonders for that sector.
Planners have also not recognized the possibilities associated with the airport and the example of Toowoomba where there now is an export hub direct to Asia and the basis of a new technology park employing many people.
That could have happened here, supporting the concept of development and housing at Brewer, but vested interests short term hijacked the debate for short gains again.
Land restraints north of the Gap will force development to go south, but planners have caused the current situation for us rural residents and Government does not have he guts to rectify it. It will cost them many votes.

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

Spread renewables, government asked
ReNu energy (formerly Geodynamics), a pioneer in the geothermal energy field, has several solar facilities up and running in several places in SA, Victoria, ACT and NSW all of which are based on community ownership and after the meter billing.
This would be the perfect spot (Brewer) for such a facility if we can keep the red tape at bay.
For more details look at their website. Several of these are based on shopping centres, and the largest shopping centre in Alice would be an ideal site to demonstrate what is possible and what is happening elsewhere.
In addition comments about battery storage and talk of its shortcomings are quite premature and sometimes negative.
Lithium is the favorite of the month at the moment and there is some around here in the local pegmatites but this will shortly be superseded by vanadium flow batteries.
All the details of these are online at Australian Vanadium but the science is a bit complicated to the layman.
This is an ASX listed company and worth looking at to see what is coming.
Interestingly the emerging Vanadium / Titanium province at Mt Peake West of Barrow Creek brings the industry right to our front door, but not yet recognized widely locally.


Consultants with 40,000 years on the job
As a child I remember in the Riverland of SA, an APY lands Indigenous man whom we all idolised, one Jimmy James.
Remember going out onto the river flats around Berri and watch him tracking foxes, and my father showed him how to grow potatoes in a trench.
He lived at Gerard.
Some of feats also were legendary. On one occasion there was a murder at Pine Valley station, North of Waikerie.
Jimmy tracked the murderer for several days through the Mallee until his apprehension North of Renmark.
On another occasion he tracked a mentally disturbed woman for several kilometres through the streets of Berri, claiming she had gone into the river near the old pumping station.
This was dismissed by the authorities until her body floated to the surface of the river exactly where he said she had gone in.
His memory is commemorated by a plaque on the river bank near where the old ferry landing was in the town.
Jimmy was also instrumental in tracking the legendary figure known locally as “Possum” who lived a hermit’s life along the river between Renmark and Wentworth.
His story in now in a book of the same name by a former Renmark detective, Max Jones.


Community solar: the devil is in the wires
Why is it that there are around 60 off grid facilities already in operation in this country ranging from Goulburn in NSW to King Island to a complete new suburb Just North of Perth, where 20 odd houses get power from a battery bank the size of a shipping container, to Moololabank, near Melbourne, and now Chile on a large scale and Morocco where they have a solar / molten salt facility which is to power 2000 houses, with a similar facility in Spain.
One of these has been financed from Wall Street where they know a thing or two about making money, as does Lend Lease Corporation the promoter of several of these subdivisions here.
That could have happened here, putting us right at the front of the industry, with another thing to advertise the place but we did not.
Now we have three shopping complexes going off grid-Griffith in NSW and several others in SA – all being put in by a former Geothermal explorer, and to be followed by several others.
That also could have happened here but no one was looking.
Regarding the cost of infrastructure, the recent inquiry into costing revealed that 40% of the consumer cost is in the distribution system.
Once in tertiary economics classes it was taught that the electricity industry was the perfect example of cost reductions due to economies of scale.
This was partly true until the infrastructure was privatized. Spark Infrastructure, for example, which acquired the distribution network in SA and Vic years ago, showing that each entity must report to shareholders and that economies of scale suddenly went missing.
The energy losses in long distance transmission are obvious to anyone with a basic understanding of physics.
This is why Germany is moving towards carbon nano tube transmission while we live 50 years behind.
It therefore makes sense to move development to the source of generation to minimize costs and encourage industry.
I see no sign of that here.
In addition lithium storage will be obsolete shortly with the advent of nickel and vanadium flow batteries, and in the longer term thorium molten salt reactors.


We’ve got the sunshine, they’ve got the people
Not many people seem to have noticed the bank of invertors outside the big green shed on the main North road, or the solar array South of Coober Pedy, or the community grid going in at Goulburn, NSW, ($500 membership ) or the facility in Morocco based on solar and molten salt, and supplying power 24/7 to two million people, or the same facility in Spain doing much the same thing, or the shopping centers at Griffith or Murray Bridge, which have gone off grid.
All done by an Australian company.
Of the 50 or so mini grids in Australia, many are facilitated by a major development company – Lend Lease. One in WA supplies 20 houses from a battery bank inside a shipping container, while the money for the Morocco unit came from Wall St, where they know a thing or two about money.
We could have been exporting electricity to the Eastern states but for the breathlessly short sighted vision. It’s no coincidence that the facility in SA (Elon Musk) is situated right next to the interstate connector.
And what of the electric cars that will be heading our way? Holland or Denmark runs its entire rail system on wind. Where have we been?


No plans to stop NATS: Gunner
Can anyone remember the inevitable demise of the Cannonball Run which was based on the same mentality? Are there any real differences?
How about a bit of balance in the form of a defensive driving school aimed at young people who think that the more noise they make the faster the car goes and think they are invincible once behind the wheel of a car.
It’s this mentality which these motor sports encourage that is the danger and needs to be discouraged.
There is currently no counter argument on safety and defensive driving.
Similarly with the enormous cost to the community of quad bike injuries. There is also an enormous marketing opportunity in promoting safe defensive driving to the hundreds of senior school students from interstate who visit here every year.


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