COOBER PEDY News & Events


Dear Editor,

Most of us who live in remote South Australia are content when rain falls from the sky, but the latest tax that fell on us is somewhat confusing. Basically most households in Outback South Australia are now obliged to pay $25.00 for the year, ending 30/06/11.

This is being charged by the Natural Resources Management board, for the stated purpose to “ensure the sustainability of our natural resources”.

Does this mean that all the people who took it upon themselves to eradicate feral animals and noxious plants, etc, can now stop, as they have paid towards a government employee doing it instead.

With everybody paying this tax it would be assumed that there would now be a lot of money to employ plenty of people.

However things look different when checking the figures. A glossy brochure explaining the tax (called a levy) states that the board expects to collect a total of $140,500.00 from this taxing exercise, this is probably less than the annual salary of the person who came up with the proposal, apart from the costs of the brochure.

But does it stop there?

Almost all State Government organisations use a service to handle production and postage of invoicing, the cost of this service is $25.00 per invoice. If correct then this whole tax (levy) on us does not produce any funds for the NRM, it just takes $25.00 from our pockets.

This does not look very “sustainable” to me.

With this sort of decision making any of us could assume that the board members were either volunteers or perhaps gained their position from penal servitude.

It would be ridiculous to think that people who make such decisions are actually being paid.

Board members of Government funded organisations must realise that they should act in a transparent and accountable manner. In private and publicly listed companies, board members are legally liable for the decisions they make.

We should demand that any board members of organisations working in the outback and are paid for it, should be very careful of how they spend other peoples money. If not, they should consider either repaying or resigning.

Signed: Tayifa Porini (SA)

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By Angelique Johnson
Updated Thu Feb 3, 2011 8:30am AEDT
Adelaide householders are soon to be slugged through their council rates to help pay for a controversial beach pipeline project.

Residents in the Adelaide Hills and other inland areas will also face an increased levy despite living nowhere near the coast.  read more

8 replies »

  1. The state government earn that Natural Resources Management board levy every time a Coober Pedy resident makes a return trip by car to Adelaide from their fuel GST!

    For what it is worth your city cousins are now aware of this ‘Yes Minister” impost through Leon Byner’s program on radio 5aa.

  2. (edited) In 2004 when the United Nation made a particular announcement, a rush of NRM boards appeared across the entire country!!.

    In 1992 the High Court of Australia deemed that British ownership of Australia was in effect, only ever “NOTIONAL”.

    With the introduction of NRM boards, OACDT/OCA boards, NRDB/RDA boards etc, we see South Australia’s creeping acquistions of the unicorporated/mineral rich areas of this state by way of many ‘uninformed’ agreements near ‘infrastructure sites’ in the guise of “better management, progress and viabilty”.

    The “settlers” in towns and communities in ‘unincorporated’ lands, due to their ignorance of these facts, begin to pay dollars which the government seemed unable to collect as land tax on aboriginal (unincorporated) land. The growing ‘public service’ sector bear ‘proclamations’ only of state authority over the unincorporated lands.

    TWO OWNERS of the Natural Resources emerged in 2004, in South Australia at least.

    OWNER NO 1.
    Dr Erica-Irene Dais of the United Nations addressed a Native Title conference in Adelaide on 3 June 2004 stating the protection of natural resources belonging to the original owners under International Law.

    Indigenous Peoples Permanent Sovereignty Over Natural Resources.

    “The right of peoples and nations to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources must be exercised in the interest of their national development and of the well-being of the people of the State concerned.”

    In the above-mentioned resolution, the General Assembly further declared:

    “Violation of the rights of peoples and nations to sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources is contrary to the spirit and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and hinders the development of international cooperation and the maintenance of peace.”

    …… the Court also made it clear that “aboriginal title encompasses mineral rights”.

    Laws and legal systems that arbitrarily declare that resources which once belonged to Indigenous peoples are now the property of the State are discriminatory against the Indigenous peoples, whose ownership of the resources predates the State, and are thus contrary to international law.

    Thank you very much for your kind attention.
    Erica-Irene A. Daes

    OWNER/MANAGER NO 2 – emerges

    ENTER…..Natural Resources “Management” Boards across the entire country in 2004!

    What is Natural Resources Management (their website reads)
    “Cast your eye across the landscape and you will see the breath and diversity of our natural resources; our water, soil, plants and animals and the people who depend on them; our farmers, landholders, rural and urban communities.

    Natural resources management (NRM) is about using our resources wisely to secure a sustainable and prosperous South Australia where a healthy environment is the basis for a good quality of life for all South Australians.

    A new era in NRM was recently forged in South Australia with the formation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Established on 1 July 2010, the Department provides an integrated community service for NRM by bringing together activities previously carried out across the Department for Environment and Heritage and the Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation. Regional one stop shops for community enquiries and sharing administrative resources to achieve on-ground outcomes are just some of the benefits of the new structure.

    South Australia’s eight NRM Boards work across the regions defined in the Natural Resources Management Act 2004: Each Board is the face of NRM in its region, involving the community in caring for local ecosystems and implementing their own Regional NRM Plan, which ties into State-level planning, including South Australia’s Strategic Plan, the State Natural Resources Management Plan and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Corporate Plan.

    Where is it written that an entire population of voters be kept uninformed or ill-informed and levied/taxed on a concealed agenda?

  3. So what is probly going on here is if we link up with these departments we stick our heads into the land tax noose? Thought so. I was always puzzled how we didn’t pay land tax before in these areas. Not legal unless we make it that way and dont get second opinions in these private land meetings with all their very rushed signing arrangmetns.

  4. Heard on 5AA and collected by LGA….Reg W.
    5AA (Adelaide)
    Mornings – 18/03/2011 – 12:35 PM
    Leon Byner
    Station Ph: 08 8419 1395
    Byner asks Atkinson if he is aware Labor is not doing well in the polls and
    Atkinson says ‘yes’.
    Byner says he has an email from Richard Abbott and
    Atkinson informs he is a well known opposer of the Rann Government.
    Byner says Abbott makes the point that people in the outback are going to be charged for an NRM board levy that will raise $140,000.
    Atkinson asks if it is for the Outback Areas Trust and
    Byner says it is for the NRM to manage resources.
    Byner says there is a myriad of levies and
    Atkinson says the emergency services levy was introduced by the Liberal Government.
    Byner says there is also a water management plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges that will charge people for meters on dams, a license fee for a bore.
    Byner says John Darley called him saying the levy business ‘has to stop’ and
    Atkinson says he could vote against laws in the Upper House.
    Atkinson says he would be surprised of the Greens opposed the NRM levy:
    Byner says it is ‘too cute’ to argue this is this is to protect precious resources when it is building as bureaucracy more powerful than SAPOL.
    Atkinson says he is unaware of this particular levy.
    Atkinson says there are people in his electorate and in the Greens who advocate for a higher tax higher service government and notes 5aa listeners are not among these, but it must be acknowledged this sector exists.
    Interviewees: Mark Parnell, The Greens; Michael Atkinson, Labor Backbencher and Former Attorney-General; Rob Lucas, Liberal MP
    Duration: 7:22
    Summary ID: W00042960546

  5. 5AA anouncer Leon Byner might ask someone next time WHO’S resources NRM say they are managing and get there reply on record. If we are going to be targeted to pay for this lot then we have aright to know all the details without the fancy we/ours type of top-coating. Let’s get it out in the open Leon – full and honest disclosure – not to mention future impacts.

  6. Does the same apply to this NRM department as I’m seeing the state government criticised for with no impact study done before foisting this dubious levy onto everyone regardless of their means? Those of us living remotely have enough to deal with. Along with our regular costs, we are also paying an emergency services levy, which I understand the SES also take from outback communities (and probably others) when it is not obvious that the locals are the ones getting the most out of our volunteers.
    Just reading the NRM website doesn’t explain what they are really doing without taking a month off work to read their justification.
    Managing WHAT? and HOW? Can we have the short, acurate version of it?

    In short, it means that the government can send any amount of their invented departments into our town, and charge us all for their activities, which are NOT clear. We need to be a bit stricter on what type of organisations are getting into our town and into our pockets. We didn’t agree to this NRM levy, so why are we wasting our valuable time even discussing it?

    Published in the Coober Pedy Regional Times
    Thursday 10 June 2010 (page 5)

    In October last year [2009] the South Australian Arid Lands Natural Resources Management Board released their draft regional NRM plan.

    The Council and the Community were at that time asked to provide comment on the draft plan which recommended an annual levy be placed on all rateable properties within the Coober Pedy and Roxby Downs Council areas.

    The District Council of Coober Pedy rejected the recommendation and strongly objected to the imposition of any levy.

    On the 26th May we received a letter from the Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation advising that the draft plan had been adopted by Minister Paul Caica and seeking further comment from Council on the implementation of a NRM levy.

    It is the intention of the State to charge Council the equivalent of
    $25.00 per rateable property for the year 2010/2011,
    $35.00 for the 2011/2012 year, and
    $50.00 for the 2012/2013 year.

    Council has been advised that we are to claim back this amount from each rateable property by applying the NRM levy to your rates each year.

    I reiterate that Council has objected strongly to this levy being imposed on residents and reiterate that when you receive your rates notice for 2010/2011, the NRM levy will be listed as a separate charge.

    This IS NOT a charge that has been imposed by Council but an additional charge applied by the State.

    Steve Baines, Mayor (10 June 2010)

  8. Relax folks,

    No one is going to pay these ‘proposed’ charges ( read the first letter to the property owner) , who would? The question is how much $$$ has the SA government and SAAL-NRM wasted in this insane attempt to place a random tax on the outback?
    I know plenty of people in the Outback and no one intends to play the game so screw up those letters and put them in the bin, whoops, sorry place them in the recycling basket!!


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