What a doozy

There is no doubt business, banks, governments and certain trades use ‘creative accounting’ to come up with new fees and charges to screw a bit more out of their customers but AGL have come up with a doozy.

On my latest account was a ‘payment processing fee’.

They are actually charging customers a fee to pay their account! What next?

Tony Donnellan, Clare.

Meet the future of meat

Last year, the dairy industry attempted to ban the use of the word "milk" for plant-based drinks like soy and almond milk. We pointed out that, if accuracy is their goal, their bottles should be labelled "a mammary secretion of animals for the nourishment of their young".

Now, the Cattle Council wants to ban the word "meat" from vegan products that look like animal flesh but are clean, cruelty-free and better for our health. They want the law changed to define meat as "coming from the flesh of a slaughtered animal". We do hope they’ll print that on every package – they’ll will win our campaign for us in the first week.

These petulant reactions are indications of how threatened these industries feel. Suggesting that people do not know that vegan sausages, burgers and schnitzels are plant-based and cruelty-free is absurd – those are the reasons why these products are taking the market by storm.

Very soon, clean meat grown from stem cells in the laboratory under sterile conditions and without any animals being tormented and slaughtered will be widely available. Except for the absence of bacteria coming from filthy feedlots and abattoirs, it will be identical in flavour and texture to meat from slaughtered animals. Forward-thinkers like Bill Gates, who recently invested millions into clean meat, know that it is the "future of food".

Consumers are far smarter than the meat industry believes. They know that regardless of what they’re called, vegan and clean meats are the humane and sustainable choice.

Desmond Bellamy, 

Special projects coordinator, 

PETA Australia

CFS thanks its volunteers

Each year, SA Country Fire Service volunteers attend thousands of incidents across the state. In this, Volunteers Week we should all take a moment to say thank you.

Thank you for the hours upon hours of unpaid time spent at incidents, the hours being professionally  trained each week, and the time away from family and friends.

Thank you also to the many employers who allow CFS members the time to protect the community, and of course to the families of our members who help support through the late night call outs and sometimes long deployments.

The Fire Danger Season is now over, but that doesn’t mean our volunteers won’t still be out there attending structure fires, road crashes, hazardous material spills and supporting other agencies at storm events.

So thank you for the work you’ve done and for the work you will do in the future, all unpaid.

Greg Nettleton, 

Chief officer, SA Country Fire Service

Helping children

It can take as little as an hour a week of someone’s time to help a child succeed at school – and for thousands of disadvantaged children across South Australia, that little bit of time makes all the difference.

This National Volunteer Week (21-27 May), The Smith Family is celebrating the significant contribution of our volunteers in building a better future for young Australians in need.

The Smith Family is one of Australia’s largest volunteer organisations, with nearly 9000 people generously donating their time, skills and energy each year to support the charity’s mission of helping disadvantaged children with their education – including more than 1300 volunteers in South Australia. 

The Smith Family is absolutely indebted to our dedicated volunteers, including our corporate partners and VIEW Club members across the state.

Last year, people in South Australia collectively gave more than 23,000 hours of their time to support our work with thousands of children and families in need.

The Smith Family in SA snapshot

  • Number of communities supported – 10
  • Number of SA students supported through the Learning for Life sponsorship program – 3,990
  • Number of SA volunteers – 1,318 in the last financial year

The Smith Family is looking for 100 volunteers in South Australia to run our Learning Clubs. Learning Clubs provide a safe and supportive out-of-school learning environment where primary or secondary students can participate in activities that develop their academic skills, such as homework, numeracy and literacy. Clubs usually run in terms two and three each year, and children attend at once or twice a week at no cost.

There are approximately 30 learning clubs in South Australia, and while there are children on waiting lists, some are at threat of closing due to lack of volunteers.

Numerous other volunteer opportunities are available across SA, including iTrack mentors, a program for high schools students in years 9 to 11 where students are matched with a volunteer mentor who gives advice and guidance about work and study opportunities.

We are also looking for administration support volunteers.

For more information visit https://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/get-involved/volunteer/SA 

Graham Jaeschke,

SA General Manager