Tag listing: Woodside

Inverbrackie future

The news that the Federal Government will shut down the Inverbrackie detention facility at the end of the year is no surprise.
The closure was flagged by Tony Abbott’s Coalition even before the election began in earnest.
Whether the closure is the best option for Australia’s asylum seekers is a separate issue.
For the Hills the question remains – what will happen to the 80 former army houses, the ancillary buildings and the small community centre?
There’s no doubt a ridiculous amount of money has been spent fixing up and running the facility.
More than $11m was spent in capital costs establishing the centre which included extensive renovations to many of the homes which had been left empty by defence housing for some time.
Local Federal MP Jamie Briggs estimated nearly $100m has been spent on running Inverbrackie since the gates first opened in late 2010.
It would be an injustice on top of injustice if that money was wasted and the place left to decay once again.
Leaving them empty would also not be in keeping with the current Government’s austerity mode.
The houses are basic and not up to current accommodation standards for Australian Defence Force personnel.
They were built in the early 1980s and also fall short of public housing and aged housing standards.
However, they would make great low cost housing.
When Inverbrackie was set up the community witnessed first hand how quickly a Government can make something happen if it really wants to.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard made an announcement in October 2010 and the place opened in late December.
It is unlikely that a decision on the future of the Inverbrackie estate will be made with as much haste.
Perhaps the best option to avoid all the bureaucratic hurdles of setting up another public facility would be to sell the houses off as low cost housing – as soon as possible.
That way the place won’t stay empty for long and the local traders, the schools, the sporting clubs and the Adelaide Hills Council can enjoy the benefits of another 80 families living in the area.
An improved local public transport system would almost certainly need to be developed but that is a minor hurdle.
The community may find selling the houses will have a far more positive  impact on the economy and dynamics of the district than the detention facility ever did.

Killer blow

Isobel Redmond’s gaffe last week, during which she outlined her desire to cut 25,000 SA public servants, could be the killer blow to her tenure as Liberal leader.
The subsequent claim several hours later that she “answered some questions incorrectly” has done little to stop the bleeding to her reputation or the damage to the Party. The timing for Ms Redmond could not have been worse.
Already under pressure from within her own Party to take a more robust fight to the Government, Ms Redmond has now alienated herself from potentially thousands of voters by declaring, albeit mistakenly, that she would consider slashing one in four public service jobs.
Before last week’s gaffe her problem was largely contained within her own Party.
But that bushfire has clearly jumped those containment lines and it now has the potential to race through the wider community. And the Labor Party will be on hand to fan the flames.
All this mess is of her own making. It will increase the pressure on Ms Redmond’s colleagues to act and it is difficult to see any amount of apologising and self- admonishment holding off the inevitable.

Traders left out

The Woodside Commerce Association didn’t share anything new with the Adelaide Hills Council last week when its president told elected members that the promised economic benefits from the Inverbrackie detention facility hadn’t been noticed locally.
Woodside traders are well aware that they are on the back foot when it comes to securing Federal Government business and have been talking about it among themselves for some time.
It would be annoying to know that you’re missing out, but you have the Government waving an economic study your face and saying “look how well you’re doing”.
In the end the definition of benefit comes down to what is “local” and whether it matters if the money goes to businesses elsewhere in the Hills or Adelaide.
When the study by independent university researchers came out earlier this year it found the Inverbrackie facility had injected $38m into the Hills economy and most of the direct economic impact was attributed to the salaries paid to employees.
That’s a lot of money but staff come and go and you can’t always guarantee that a significant percentage will be Hills residents.
Given the Woodside supermarket is no longer supplying groceries to the facility, it would be interesting to know just how much of the millions spent at Inverbrackie each year is flowing to the immediate neighborhood.

Kris knows her craft

Award-winning Hills cheese maker Kris Lloyd had to learn her craft by trial and error over more than a decade.

Minister puts brakes on Woodside road repairs

Federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has refused to fund half of a proposed $500,000 upgrade of a road near the Inverbrackie detention facility and has effectively scuttled the project.

Broken promise

When the Federal Government informed the Hills community in 2010 that the old Inverbrackie army base housing estate was going to be converted into detention facility, there were plenty of angry voices at public meetings forecasting all kinds of negative impacts on the community.

Henry’s hard at work

Henry has become a well-known face in the Hills. He’s often seen at the post office in Woodside, strolling down the main street of Lobethal or at the supermarkets in Mt Barker.

Preschool education is not child’s play

Parents sending their children to the Woodside Preschool Playcentre can rest assured their littles ones are in good hands.

Winery brings a little bit of Washington to Woodside

Dual ARIA award winning singer songwriter Megan Washington and her band wowed a sell-out crowd in a special one-off show in the Hills on Saturday.

Winery event win

Up to 1000 people are expected to gather at Bird in Hand Winery next week for a music event … but only a select few can use the on-site toilets and no-one is allowed to wash the dishes.

Wine and music

Bird in Hand Winery at Woodside has worked hard to create a reputation as a premium brand.

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