In The Courier this week

Monarto Zoo’s carnivore keeper, Jaimee Foote, feeds African lions Leroy and Inkosi some raw meat. Over the next 12 months the zoo will establish a predator experience allowing thrill-seekers to enter a cage surrounded by the carnivores.

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Blame game leaves pensioners the poorer

Hills mayors say their ratepayers are the real losers in the recent tit-for-tat blame campaign between the State and Federal Governments over abolishing council rate concessions for retirees.
Losing the rate concessions – up to $190 for pensioners and $100 for self-funded retirees – has left a $550,000 hole in the Adelaide Hills Council’s 2015/16 budget and would have left a $415,920 shortfall in the Mt Barker Council’s budget if elected members hadn’t voted to pass the full cost on to seniors.
The State Government has refused to fund the rebates from July in response to last year’s $28m Federal Budget cut to pensioner concessions in SA.
The decision has sparked a war of words about which tier of government is responsible. “The decision the Federal Government has made and the decision that the State Government has made, local government has to wear it and the seniors in our community have to wear it unfortunately,” Mt Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson said this week.

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Also in this week’s issue

  • Planning reforms: Hills councils have serious concerns regarding a suite of recommendations to overhaul the State’s planning system.

  • Jumps racing: The head of the Oakbank Racing Club has hit back at the State Racing Minister’s call for an end to jumps racing in SA.

  • Aldi supermarket: Discount supermarket Aldi has Mt Barker in its sights for a future store.

  • CFS reforms: The Emergency Services Sector Reform has caused an uproar in the CFS with a campaign by the CFS Volunteers Association (CFSVA), a protest on the steps of Parliament House and petition circulating in the community.

  • Trucks defected: Police and transport officials fined 14 truck drivers for vehicle defects during a safety blitz on the freeway on Monday.

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