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RICHARD ABBOTT: Reading Power hike zaps Outback towns (InDaily, 9 December 2013) and that Australia are well on the way to retaining the Ashes I cannot let the following gem go through to the keeper without comment:

A spokesperson for the Energy Division of the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy said that small and medium residential consumers faced modest rises, kept to within 10 per cent of the grid price.

Err, Mr/Ms Spokesperson – the price of electricity was not changed for Coober Pedy residential customers when the electricity price hike was initially announced in 2011 by Minister Michael O’Brien, as DMITRE is bound by regulatory legislation to cap the electricity price at no more than 10% of grid price. However we all now know that the residential electricity grid price has since radically escalated since 2011, thus further reducing the State Government’s already meagre subsidy towards Coober Pedy power generation.

The burning question is how long will it be before a zapped business person sends their failed business ashes down to the Premier?

ALISON JONES: I have been attending Ashes Test matches at the Adelaide Oval for some 50 years. Up until recently, I have looked forward to joining my fellow members in the queue in the early hours and getting my seat and settling in to read the newspaper and enjoy the beautiful ambience of the best cricket ground in the world. I have accepted, reluctantly, the necessity to ‘upgrade’ the facilities, but what I do not accept is the necessity to constantly barrage the patrons with loud and constant music. There was not a second of ‘quiet time’ during the breaks in play and for me it ruined what was otherwise a great test match.

CAROL FAULKNER: If no-one is happy with SA’s current planning system (InDaily, 9 December 2013), it’s a sure sign the system is cactus.

It would be wise for our rubber stamp-happy planning minister to put off approving any more contentious developments until the planning review has been completed and the problems have been fixed.  Go figure, that suggestion went down like a lead balloon. Too many public parks to be developed (St Clair, West Lakes), too many developers to appease. Stamp, stamp.

And for what? To provide housing for an expected population boom? It’s a crock. I feel a lot more than “reluctance” to accept the 30-Year Plan’s population target – I point-blank reject the cooked up figures on which it is based.

Achieving the population target relies on attracting high numbers of migrants annually and it’s just not happening in SA. Nor should the government be trying to make it happen, given that 73% of Australians prefer a stable population (McCrindle Research, 2012), and because reliability of water supply will always be an issue in the driest state.

After enough letter writers twigged that we were being conned, Planning Minister John Rau eventually admitted that “state government population ‘targets’ can never be more than aspirational”. Well, nobody asked the people of South Australia what size population we should aspire to, nor was any evidence presented to make a case for trying to attract a 50% increase in population.

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