Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Community spirit showcased at Padthaway

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Chris Oldfield, Naracoorte Community News

The community spirit of Tatiara District Council was on show last week when its monthly meeting was held in Padthaway’s sporting complex.

Some of the many key issues raised included road safety, a lack of child care and wishes for a school hall and pool.

The issues were raised by Padthaway Primary School’s Years 5 and 6 class.

In order to host the class, Tatiara council changed its usual meeting time to 2pm and organised students to address the members as a priority on its agenda.

Mayor Graham Excell then adjourned the meeting for a kid friendly afternoon tea which staff pre-arranged so students, teachers, councillors, staff, visitors and media could all mingle within the council’s respectful and friendly atmosphere.

Student presentations

Bryce was the first student speaker and said he was proposing a “safe crossing on the Riddoch Hwy” from the school to the other side of the road.

He believed such a crossing was important to keep students, school community and visitors safe while crossing the road.

Jack said he was concerned because Padthaway did not have a child care centre.

“There is an amount of people travelling to Keith, Bordertown and Naracoorte because there is no child care centre in Padthaway,” Jack said.

“We need a child care centre. It would be extremely beneficial and it would also save a lot of money for families.”

Digby raised the issue of tennis courts and playing the game so people could be “active and social”.

Henry said he was concerned about cars going past the school “because if someone gets hit, they are going to get injured or worse”.

“I have an idea to put crossing lights, or a lollipop boy,” he said.

Brandon said the school needed a hall. “It will really benefit us because we can do PE instead of worrying about those rainy, cold and windy days,” he said.

Archer raised the need for a big sign, at least 2.5m long, to notify motorists on the Riddoch Hwy that there was a school.

“It will help by stopping the speeding past the school because the drivers are notified there’s a school nearby,” he said.

“The school is not safe when cars go past. It is so dangerous. We need a safe school, so please put my idea into use.”

Jade said Padthaway should have a big pool. “It will be amazing. The pool should be 25m long and 5m wide.”

“We need a pool in Padthaway so we can just walk there.”

He highlighted the long wait to get to the Bordertown pool or Naracoorte swimming lake.

Jade also believed the pool needed to be heated and free.

Felicity said she was going to propose a swimming pool as well.

“I’m so excited that I get the chance to write to you,” she said.

“I’m writing because getting buses from town to town are very expensive at the moment.

“We are driving into Bordertown to get our swimming lessons done. I would like to suggest two options.

“Either you could fund our buses to go into Bordertown or (if) we could have a swimming pool built.”

Elsie wanted the council to know that motorists were driving past the school “at high speed and it’s very dangerous”.

She wanted the council to do something “about the horrific state of public toilets“ in Padthaway.

“It would be ideal to take my idea into consideration,” Eliza said.

Council responds

Mr Excell responded following the presentations.

Regarding a child care centre, he said he had met the SA Minister for Local Government and Regional Roads, Geoff Brock, and the Member for MacKillop, Nick McBride, and raised the issue.

“So, we are trying to do something,” he said.

Mr Excell explained a little about government departments.

Regarding a pool, he said the council had two pools in Tatiara district “and we lose about $300,000 over the two of them, and that’s not heating them either”.

“So, it is very expensive to have swimming pools.”

He invited councillors and staff to respond to the students.

Director infrastructure and operations Aaron Hillier praised the students and said they “were all really good suggestions”.

Regarding a school crossing, he thought the council could “advocate for that to happen”.

Mr Hillier explained the Riddoch Hwy was managed by the transport department and described how the council could help promote the students’ concerns.

The council met the department regularly and he described what had happened in the past to try and make the school more visible and slow traffic down.

Mr Hillier also suggested some other options “which we could look at” with the department in a bid to address student concerns.

Cr Diana Penniment reflected on Brandon’s request for a school hall and said while the council could help advocate, it was something that had to happen through the education department.

She urged Brandon to work with the school’s governing council.

“And as (Tatiara) council, we can actually give you back-up to that,” she said.

Cr David Edwards asked how many students crossed the highway each day and was told “40 or 50 per cent of the school”.

The school currently had around 40 students.

During the meeting Cr Liz Goossens also urged for any issues to be raised at the Padthaway Progress Association because it met monthly within the town and “all the agendas and minutes come to council”.

Mr Excell invited students to take a seat for a few minutes so they could learn about what happened in a council meeting.

Soon enough many large trays full of sandwiches, cakes and slices appeared, much to the delight of the students.

They were urged to take several pieces each and mingle with staff, councillors and media.

Meanwhile, the Padthaway Progress Association meets tonight, Wednesday, August 17 in the Memorial Hall.

Naracoorte Community News 17 August 2022

This article appeared in Naracoorte Community News.

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