In The Courier this week

ANGER OVER ESL: Echunga CFS Captain Mark Clothier, left, and brigade president Don Fogg say their members are joining a volunteer-driven protest against increases to the Emergency Services Levy and won’t fight bushfires on State Government land in certain circumstances.

Fire alarm

Volunteers tell government to fight its own fires

Echunga CFS volunteers have vowed not to fight fires in the nearby Kuitpo Forest and in bush surrounding the Mt Bold Reservoir – in certain circumstances – as a protest against “huge increases” in the Emergency Services Levy (ESL).

The brigade’s decision is a show of solidarity for West Coast firefighters who are boycotting bushfires on State Government land over the same issue.

ESL bills have almost doubled for most householders but farmers have been among the hardest hit by the State budget measure to remove rebates on the property-based levy, with some facing increases of up to 1000%.

“As CFS members, we protest the State Government’s huge increases in the ESL and offer support for the West Coast brigades who have responded by refusing to manage fires on Government land,” Echunga CFS Captain Mark Clothier said on Monday.

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Also in this week’s issue

  • Lucky to be alive: The motorcyclist believes he narrowly survived a brush with death in a targeted attack recently that could have had fatal consequences.
  • Skate park scrutiny: The Mt Barker Council has committed to building a skate park on Macclesfield’s historic Davenport Square while at the same time approving an investigation into its handling of the matter.
  • Fuel outlet: A 24-hour petrol station and fast food outlet are planned for vacant land between Mt Barker’s first park n ride and the base of heritage railway SteamRanger.
  • Balloon viewImages of Earth taken from the edge of space were captured by school students after cameras were launched from the Mt Barker High School oval using two high altitude weather balloons.
  • Barn named best: Hahndorf Farm Barn owners Jason and Kate Carter will leave the business on a high after it was named SA’s best tourism attraction for the third year in a row.

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