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Witnesses sought in Hackham West fire
Witnesses sought in Hackham West fire

26 May 2024, 10:23 AM

Southern District Detectives are looking to speak with two possible witnesses as they continue to investigate a fatal house fire at Hackham West yesterday.Emergency services responded after the blaze broke out in the Amsterdam Road home just before 8.30am on Saturday 25 May.Two occupants were inside the home at the time of the fire.Sadly, despite the efforts of fire fighters and paramedics, a 61-year-old man died at the scene.A 46-year-old woman was transported to hospital by ambulance with life-threatening injuries. She remains in hospital in a stable condition.The cause of the fire is undetermined.Detectives from Southern District CIB are investigating the incident and are preparing a report for the State Coroner.As part of the investigation, police specifically want to speak to two people who may be able to assist detectives.The first is a person who was observed walking along Amsterdam Road at 8.10am. They were wearing black track pants with a white stripe down the legs, dark shoes, a grey long sleeve hooded top and carrying a black backpack with white print or logo on the front.The second is a man who knocked on the door of a house in Oslo Crescent, Hackham West and asked the occupant to call the fire brigade and police as a house was on fire around the corner and he didn’t have a phone with him.  This man is described as being of Caucasian appearance, 177cm tall with a skinny build, and dark moustache and goatee. He was wearing black pants and a black hoodie and spoke with an Australian accent. The man left when he heard emergency services sirens approaching the area.Detectives are asking the two people to come forward, along with anyone else who may have information and are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestopperssa.com.au You can remain anonymous

Alexandrina heritage celebrated
Alexandrina heritage celebrated

26 May 2024, 4:15 AM

The newly restored and re-opened Milang Butter Factory played host to the 2024 Alexandrina Council Heritage Awards on Thursday 23 May.Guest speaker was Peter Goers, South Australian arts personality and long-time ABC radio presenter, who delivered an entertaining address on heritage, the Alexandrina region and living in South Australia.Award winners and commendations were announced across six categories:Heritage Gardens and FencingCommendations were awarded to Melrose’s Garden, Woodburn Homestead, Langhorne Creek and a private Garden, Tottenham Court Road, Port Elliot.Conservation Practice (Projects under $50k)Commendation went to Restoration of Mary’s Well, Red Creek.The winner was Restoration of State Heritage Listed Workshop, Bleasdale Vineyards, Langhorne Creek.Conservation Practice (Projects over $50k)Commendation went to Trafalgar House Restoration, The Strand, Port ElliotThe winner was Milang Butter Factory Restoration, Daranda Terrace, Milang.Historic ResearchCommendation went to Paul Taylor, Oral History with Lorraine Pomery ProjectThe winner was Jessica Groot and Deb Morgan, Old Angas Mill.Heritage TourismJoint winners were: Pago Luxury Retreat, Middleton and 50 Years of the Strathalbyn National Trust Museum and Heritage Centre.Lorraine Pomery Service to Heritage AwardCommendation went to Cedric Varcoe.The winner was  Anthony Presgrave.Mayoral AwardThe winner was Jessica Groot and Deb Morgan, Old Angas Mill Project.This year no awards or commendations were issued in the category of Adaptive Re-use.The evening was organised as part of the SA History Festival and well attended by more than 100 people, who celebrated Alexandrina’s rich heritage.“The committee was delighted to see the high calibre of entries this year, clearly reflecting the dedication of the nominees, often over a considerable period, to preserving, restoring and promoting the heritage of Alexandrina,” says Heritage Advisory Committee Chair Simon Weidenhofer.“Protecting and promoting Alexandrina’s unique history is a priority for our Council and hosting the Heritage Awards is public recognition of the work being done in our community to preserve history,” says Mayor Keith Parkes.“We’ve also become the first regional council in South Australia to endorse a full-scale Heritage Strategy and Action Plan and we are about to start community consultation on our Milang Local Heritage Code Amendment to protect the substantial heritage in this special town.”For further information about heritage in Alexandrina, visit the council website.

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New rules to protect tree canopy
New rules to protect tree canopy

25 May 2024, 10:30 PM

The state government is taking immediate action to better protect Adelaide’s urban tree canopy and safeguard large, mature trees from destruction. Taking immediate effect, the new planning regulations will protect trees with a smaller trunk circumference. The trunk size for regulated trees will be reduced from two metres to one metre, while significant trees will go from three metres to two. Exemptions for trees based on distance from homes and pools has also been reduced. Now only trees within three metres from a home or pool will be able to be removed without approval, whereas the old regulations allowed the removal of trees within 10 metres. The new regulations place pruning limits on regulated and significant trees, allowing only 30 percent of the tree’s canopy to be removed every five years. The changes also provide flexibility to adapt the exempt species list to local needs and community views through a notice on the PlanSA website. Fees for destroying or removing protected trees will increase, better reflecting the cost of tree replacement. Offset fees for a regulated tree increase from $326 to $1000 and from $489 to $1500 for a significant tree. The money collected from the removal of trees goes into either local councils’ urban tree funds or into the state government’s Planning and Development Fund. The money is used to either plant, establish and maintain trees, or to purchase land to preserve or accommodate the planting of new trees. These actions recognise the important role Adelaide’s mature trees play in promoting community wellbeing, supporting biodiversity and reducing the urban heat effect. These changes were guided by bipartisan recommendations from the Environment, Resources and Development Committee of Parliament, which had been asked for advice on further tree protections following their Inquiry into the Urban Forest. The new regulations were also developed with advice from the State Planning Commission, based on University of Adelaide research, and recommendations from the Expert Panel reviewing the implementation of South Australia’s planning system.Minister for Housing and Urban Development Nick Champion says the state will go from having the weakest tree protection policies in the country to the most comprehensive.  “Tree protection is the number one issue that is raised with me, and these new policy additions means a greater number of trees in this state will be protected from the chop.“These changes support work to create the first urban greening strategy for Adelaide and help deliver the government’s commitment to increase greening in our neighbourhoods, improve urban biodiversity and address the loss of mature trees.” The Minister for Planning has requested that the State Planning Commission:Prepare a design standard to provide minimum urban tree planting and maintenance requirements for public areas in greenfield developments.Amend planning rules to also consider a tree’s urban canopy contribution as part of assessing whether it can be removed.Strengthen planning rules to support design innovation and flexibility to retain large trees.Investigate ways to fast-track approvals for tree removal within three metres of a dwelling or swimming pool where offset fees are paid.Extend urban tree canopy protections to greenfield developments in ‘Master Planned Neighbourhood Zones’ and townships.Extend regulated and significant tree protections to townships, capturing urban areas beyond metropolitan Adelaide.Existing development applications and approvals will have 12 months to be actioned before being impacted by these changes. Conservation SA Outreach Coordinator Joanna Wells says her organisation is pleased that South Australia now has tree protections that recognise the need to protect existing canopy. “Tree canopy and biodiversity is recognised as significant contributors to both mental and physical health: when our trees win, we all win. “These are significant improvements on current legislation and the further work required of the State Planning Commission will see creative thinking to enable the retention of even more trees become 'business as usual' for developers.”Dean Johnson is Local Government Association President. “These changes are a positive outcome toward better protecting trees across South Australia and are what the LGA has been calling for in our advocacy to government.  “Councils have made it clear that under the current regulations, it was far too easy to remove trees or excessively prune them with little consequence. These amendments take meaningful steps to close these loopholes. “To achieve the tree canopy cover target outlined in the Greater Adelaide 30-Year Plan and the Urban Greening Strategy, it's critical we increase tree plantings on both public and private land.” For further information visit the PlanSA website.

It’s Second Nature to care for the environment
It’s Second Nature to care for the environment

25 May 2024, 8:30 PM

SPOTLIGHT STORYWords: Anna Kantilaftas. Photos Supplied.As it moves into a new generation, Second Nature Conservancy - previously GWLAP - prepares for growth and encourages everyone to take small steps to preserve the Fleurieu’s natural environment. For more than 25 years, the Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Association (GWLAP) has worked to restore, protect, and enhance the environment around Lake Alexandrina and beyond.Now, under the new name Second Nature Conservancy, the organisation moves into a new era.General Manager Ross Oke says, “We use our knowledge to plan and implement significant on-ground restoration projects and educational activities. To date, we've planted over 2 million seedlings, restored 10,000 hectares, and involved 4,000 landholders in our core region.”A recent milestone involved completing weed control across 75 hectares within Fleurieu Peninsula parks, enhancing high-value habitat.Ongoing projects include coastal vegetation restoration and a partnership with the Nature Foundation, aiming to preserve the habitat of the nationally threatened Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren at Watchalunga Nature Reserve.Photo: Bullock Hill Conservation ParkFrom its roots as GWLAP in 1998, Second Nature Conservancy has become a torchbearer of environmental advocacy on the Fleurieu.“The name change is certainly tied to a new direction for us, which is to broaden our activities and our revenue base further by attracting investment from a wider range of funding partners and investors,” Ross says.“To some extent though, the change is retrofitting a more appropriate name to our organisation, which had already grown and evolved. There is still so much work needed to ensure our flora and fauna are conserved and can thrive in the long term.”While the heart of its mission beats in the catchments that flow directly into Lake Alexandrina, Second Nature Conservancy prides itself on doing whatever it can to conserve what remains of our native vegetation, and operates with the purpose of "restoring, protecting, and enhancing our local environment."“I love living on the Fleurieu, and that’s the key to caring for our environment – to value it. Recognising that nature underpins tourism, primary production, water quality, and the water cycle is fundamental,” Ross says.Biodiversity is more than just flora and fauna; it also considers nutrient cycling, filtering water, pollination of crops, and more. Through its workshops and events, Second Nature encourages people to learn more and recognise that everyone can get involved in caring for the environment. As the organisation opens this new chapter with a new brand, it reaffirms its commitment to environmental stewardship and its dedication to on-ground restoration projects and educational activities by making a tangible impact. Ross’s 5 tips to contribute to environmental stability and sustainability in your own backyard: 1. Cultivate appreciation: Foster a sense of appreciation and value for the natural environment, which enriches individual lives, especially children. 2. Education: Learn more about local flora and fauna, attending events, workshops, or nature walks to understand the significance of conservation efforts. 3. Get involved: Engage in practical activities with local conservation groups, volunteering time or advocating for the preservation of natural areas. 4. Bring Nature home: Choose plants that attract wildlife, avoiding invasive species, and ideally incorporating local native plants into your surroundings. 5. Support conservation efforts: Contribute time, advocacy, or donations to organisations like Second Nature Conservancy Inc. Every effort counts in preserving South Australia's natural heritage. Learn moreKyeema Conservation Park. Photo supplied.

Reconciliation in the South
Reconciliation in the South

25 May 2024, 4:15 AM

A free community event at Noarlunga’s Hopgood Theatre will mark Reconciliation Week in the City of Onkaparinga on Tuesday 28 May.It starts with Nunga Screen, which shares and celebrates First Nations culture, stories and language through film, at 10am and will include music and dance, food and cultural activities until 1.30pm.The program will feature the premiere short documentary from an emerging First Nations filmmaker commissioned by Country Arts SA.The 2024 Mayor’s Reconciliation Week Recognition Awards will be announced at the event. Book online to attend.Reconciliation Week aims to raise awareness and educate about shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how to achieve reconciliation in Australia.The National Reconciliation Week 2024 theme, Now More Than Ever, is a reminder that no matter what, the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will continue.City of Onkaparinga supports reconciliation through the delivery of its Reconciliation Action Plan and actions across the key areas of Relationships, Respect, Opportunities and Governance. It works with Neporendi Aboriginal Forum Incorporated and the Elders Group base at Neporendi Aboriginal Community Centre, as well as Joining Hands and Minds, a network of local agencies providing services to the First Nations community.Other free Reconciliation Week events include:Screening of an award-winning documentary about Bruce Pascoe's book Dark Emu at Noarlunga library at 1.30pm on Tuesday 28 May. Register to attend via Eventbrite. Yarnin Circle and Smoking Ceremony at Aldinga Library at 6pm on Thursday 30 May. Register to attend via Eventbrite. Ochre Paint for Kids at Willunga Library at 3.30pm on Wednesday 12 June. Register to attend via Eventbrite. Find out more about Reconciliation Week on the website.

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Call for collaboration to combat vandals
Call for collaboration to combat vandals

24 May 2024, 10:05 PM

The City of Victor Harbor has called on the community to serve as extra eyes and ears following a recent spate of vandalism.In a Facebook post the council expressed its disappointment at the destruction of community facilities.“Repairing damaged infrastructure is costly and time-consuming for Council, taking resources away from our core services. “The damage also creates a major inconvenience for users of our facilities. “It unfairly impacts residents, businesses and visitors to our beautiful region.”The council has asked locals who discover vandalised infrastructure to notify  it by calling 8551 0500 and anyone who witnesses vandalism to report it immediately to SAPOL on 131 444.It says the recent acts don’t reflect the spirit of Victor Harbor’s safe, respectful and peaceful community. The council says its staff have met with police officers from Hills Fleurieu Local Service Area several times over the past month, exploring opportunities for collaboration. The purpose has been to share information about its key programs, giving local police officers a better understanding of the services provided by local government and to build relationships. The council says the focus for both Police and its staff is to ensure actions are taken in ways that support the most vulnerable in the community. CEO Victoria MacKirdy says there can be synergies between the work of local government and policing authorities. “While the roles of police and local government are often clear cut and defined by legislation, we do have mutual ambitions. “We both exist to serve our local community, with shared aspirations for community wellbeing and safety, so it makes sense that we’d work together on our common goals,” she says.“Police are very much on the frontline, interacting with some of our most vulnerable community members. “If a police officer believes that an individual could benefit from joining one of Council’s community programs, they can refer them on and make that initial connection.” “Council has always had a good relationship with Hills Fleurieu Police, but this is about further exploring how we can collaborate on some matters in the best interests of our community. “We’ve been very glad to host several groups of officers over the past month and we look forward to where this initiative will lead us.” Superintendent Joanne Howard, Officer in Charge of the Hills Fleurieu Local Service Area, says the opportunity to engage with Council has been beneficial. “Senior Sergeant Andrew Bruce, our Training and Development Coordinator, collaborated with Council to produce a comprehensive training day program. “The sessions presented by Council were informative and the Council staff are clearly passionate about the programs they are delivering. “We look forward to continuing our positive engagement with the City of Victor Harbor Council to improve community safety for residents, businesses and visitors to the Fleurieu.” 

Eddie and Joey are looking for their fur-ever homes
Eddie and Joey are looking for their fur-ever homes

24 May 2024, 7:01 AM

Meet the lovable Pets of the Week looking for forever homes at the RSPCA South Australia’s animal care campus at O’Halloran Hill.Eddie and Joey are this week’s friendly Pets of the Week. These loving animals are waiting to find their perfect family. If you think that could be you, read more about them below.Dog of the Week – JoeyThis courageous tripod is Joey (AID 180468) and he’s been in RSPCA South Australia’s care for far too long.Joey has been enjoying some R&R in foster care, but he desperately wants to find a permanent home to call his own. He is a young boy with a big heart and he’s super special because he only has three legs.Since recovering from surgery and undergoing hydrotherapy classes, Joey has continued to go from strength to strength. He’s a brave, determined, and resilient boy who lives every day to the fullest.Joey would love to meet his perfect match – someone who is kind, caring and patient, and will support his recovery. He is best suited to a quiet home with adults where he can receive the attention he deserves.He’s open to living with another dog-resident, but a meet and greet first is important. As always, RSPCA SA’s dog-care team will be there every step of the way to help Joey settle into his forever home.  Read more about Joey and learn how to adopt him.Resilient Joey. Photo: RSPCA.Cat of the Week – EddieA beautiful boy is Eddie (AID 187410) and he’s been in RSPCA South Australia’s care for more than 140 days.This handsome one-yera-old cat s an absolute sweetheart who would love to find a happy home to call his own.He can be a little reserved around unfamiliar faces, but with some tasty treats he can be easily won over.Eddie can get a bit overwhelmed in loud settings, so he is best suited to a quiet home free from young kids.He requires a kind, caring and patient owner who understands that it can take time to settle into a new environment.With your love, Eddie will come out of his shell in no time and be the best fur companion you could ever ask for. He is open to living with another fur-resident, but a slow introduction is important to ensure a smooth transition. Find out more about Eddie and how to adopt him.Eddie the sweetheart. Photo: RSPCA.Visit the RSPCA RSPCA South Australia’s animal care campus at O’Halloran Hill and add a new companion to your life – you won’t regret it.The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) South Australia is the state’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity.

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Local winners at Landcare Awards
Local winners at Landcare Awards

22 May 2024, 2:30 AM

Two Fleurieu groups were among 10 winners of South Australian Landcare Awards, announced earlier this month.Biodiversity McLaren Vale took out the Australian Government Community Partnerships Landcare Award and Kumarangk – Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group won the Greyhound Coastcare Award.The Landcare Awards honour the accomplishments of individuals, groups and organisations, young and old, dedicated to protecting South Australian natural resources and building resilient landscapes for the future. The award winners and their projects are diverse, including climate innovation, community partnerships, sustainable agriculture, youth, and collaboration with First Nations.Landcare Association of South Australia Executive Officer Dr Eleanor Pratt has expressed gratitude to the Landcare Award sponsors, dignitaries and special guests, while acknowledging the finalists and winners as landcare champions in their community.“We are so proud of the Landcare community in South Australia, and it has been wonderful to be able to show our appreciation for these hardworking volunteers that give up their spare time to care for our state’s beautiful landscapes. “Congratulations to all of the winners, finalists and highly commended nominees, and thank you to the Landcare network, and our wonderful partners and sponsors, without which we wouldn’t be able to put on events like these Landcare Awards.”Winners of the State & Territory Landcare Award categories will represent South Australia at the National Landcare Awards to be held in 2025.Landcare Australia CEO Dr Shane Norrish, has commended recipients of the South Australia Landcare Awards on their outstanding accomplishments.“The South Australian Landcare Award winners have shown an exceptional level of commitment to landcare activities by restoring and protecting the natural environment where they live and work. “Their achievements benefit not only our land and water assets but is helping to create partnerships and build community resilience across Australia.” South Australian Landcare Award Winners: Australian Government Climate Innovation AwardWinner: Kate and Adrian McCabeAustralian Government Sustainable Agriculture Landcare AwardWinner: Buckleboo Station – Paroo Pastoral CompanyAustralian Government Individual Landcarer AwardWinner: Ian RobertsAustralian Government Community Partnerships Landcare AwardWinner: Biodiversity McLaren ValeGreyhound Coastcare AwardWinner: Kumarangk – Hindmarsh Island Landcare GroupFirst Nations Landcare Collaboration Award Winner: Nipapanha Community Aboriginal CorporationWomen in Landcare AwardWinner: Sarah BarrettWoolworths Junior Landcare AwardWinner: St Michael’s Lutheran Primary SchoolNextGen Landcare AwardWinner: The Biology Society of South Australia

Crack down on dog attacks and puppy farms
Crack down on dog attacks and puppy farms

21 May 2024, 3:08 AM

Penalties for vicious dog attacks will substantially increase and puppy farms will be banned under proposed reforms to the state’s Dog and Cat Management Act. If a dog attacks a person or another animal causing serious injury or death, the owner will face a maximum fine of $25,000 instead of the current $2500 penalty. The fine would be up to $50,000 if the attacking dog was already the subject of a dangerous dog order, up from $10,000. In extreme cases, when a dog owner deliberately encourages their pet to attack or harass a person or animal, the owner could be fined up to $100,000 or be jailed for four years. All other fines and expiations for dog attacks will be increased under the changes, which have been released for public consultation. The draft changes include a tough breeder licensing scheme, which would impose a limit of 50 female animals per breeding program, outlawing large-scale puppy farms that increase the risk of animal cruelty. This will bring South Australia in line with Victoria as the strictest jurisdiction for breeding programs in the nation. The reforms also include a robust licensing and assessment system for breeders, criminal background checks on applicants, fines of up to $10,000 for breeding animals without a licence and the ability to suspend and cancel breeder licences. Under the changes, female dogs will be limited to having a maximum of five litters and mandatory reporting of each litter will be introduced. Dog control orders placed on pet owners who move to South Australia from interstate - such as a dangerous dog order or a prohibition order - will also be better recognised and enforced under South Australian law. A mandatory requirement for retired racing greyhounds to be muzzled in public will be removed under the changes. This will bring greyhound adoption rules in line with those for other dogs. Councils would also have increased powers to manage dogs that persistently wander in their districts. This includes the ability to issue control orders on dogs that continually wander at large, with penalties of up to $2500 each time a dog with a control order is caught wandering.Deputy Premier Susan Close says the penalties are a strong deterrent to ensure owners do everything they can to control their dogs. “We are also delivering on our commitment to ban puppy farms and stop the breeding of animals in cramped and horrible conditions. “People love and cherish their pets, and everyone deserves to know that a puppy has come from a responsible breeder who cares for their animals.“The Government recognises that community expectations and standards are changing and we need to ensure that not only the law, but enforcement of the law, keeps up.” Public consultation closes on Sunday 9 June. Have a say online.      

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