News highlights from July

Wednesday January 03, 2024

JULY had some highlights for the community, kicking off with a highly anticipated NAIDOC Week.

The Mount Gambier/Berrin community gathered at the Cave Gardens/Thugi to celebrate the beginning of the week with a mayoral address from Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin and a flag raising ceremony.

Roughly 100 people attended the NAIDOC Week march to Pangula Mannamurna, where the NAIDOC Week award winners were announced and a barbecue lunch was provided.

South Australia managed to secure the International Masters of Wine Symposium event, which was welcomed thoroughly by Coonawarra Vignerons chief executive Hugh Koch.

The event, which will be hosted in Adelaide in November 2026, gathers 500 delegates from wine importing nations, while Coonawarra wines will also have a spot on the list of importers.

The University of Adelaide and The University of South Australia (UniSA) also continued taking steps to create a combined university with both campuses.

Teachers nationwide continued to remain restless with their current working conditions, as the Australian Education Union pushed for more resources as pressure mounted for the education department.

According to a survey conducted by the University of South Australia (UniSA) in 2022, a staggering one in two teachers considered leaving their career behind in the next five years, which doubled the original rate recorded in 2018.

It was also reported more than a quarter of teachers in the state were teaching outside of their expertise, while a majority was not receiving the proper resources or support to help with their workload.

The possibility for a dedicated palliative care facility in Mount Gambier/Berrin was discussed by Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell, who was successful in calling for the state government to recognise the need for varied end-of-life care in regional areas.

The Mount Gambier Library's old cafe space received new life and has now been dubbed "Bookmarked by Kefi" after two years of the space sitting empty.

Member for Mackillop NickMcBride made the decision to leave the South Australian Liberal Party to become an independent on Wednesday, July 5.

Mr Mc Bride said it was due to him being tired of "factional divisions" and cited his position as a Liberal member as "untenable".

Shortly after Mr McBride's departure, it was announced that Member for the Legislative Council and Mount Gambier/Berrin resident Ben Hood would become a paired Member for Mackillop alongside Mr McBride.

Alex McIntyre, AKA the Human Lego Man 2.0, joined South Australian Police officers for the Coffee with a Cop event at the Mount Gambier Marketplace.

The event encouraged Two funding packages for roads in the Grant District Council were received as a part of the Black Spot Program.

The two funding packages came from a total Federal Government fund of $5.9m which aimed to help deal with a series of dangerous crash sites in the state.

The funding packages were for Compton with $149,000 and Wye with $145,000.

After 30 years showing the sights of the World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves to the public, Decima McTernan made the decision to retire from her position as a guide in late June.

Ms McTernan said she had spent her career, as she phrased, in an "underground office" showing off the unique space to visitors ready to learn as a Senior Guide and the Naracoorte and Tantanoola Caves.

Tara Batt and Diane Williams laced up their runners later in the month to take on a 20km coastal walk for charity known as Coastrek.

Their cause was to raise money for the Heart Foundation, as well as to pay tribute to Ms Batt's late husband Shane Batt who passed away from a heart attack 12 years ago.

The race to have reconstruction for the Millicent Swimming Lake's floor finished before swim season was on, with more than half a million dollars being invested into its repairs.

The repairs were conducted due to a number of cracks being found on the lake's surface.

The Wattle Range Council approved a total of $600,000 to contribute towards the works in their 2023/2024 budget.