The Islander editorial – turbulence in a teacup

Firstly let me say it was an honour to attend the official unveiling of the memorial to the Parndana Soldier Settlers on Tuesday morning.

This follows the big 70-year reunion earlier this year put together by the Parndana Museum.

It was heartwarming to see some of the original settlers, pictured to the left in the town hall at the council meeting, invited to unveil the memorial.

The sacrifices these settlers made and the hard lives they endured carving out new farms should never be forgotten.

Unfortunately we don’t have many of the original settlers left with us anymore, so all the more reason to cherish these pioneers.

The Parndana Progress Association is doing a magnificent job upgrading the hall and museum precinct. It will look fantastic once the car park and landscaping are complete.

Now moving on to another subject – the stoush over security training at Kangaroo Island Airport.

It does seem quite strong for Regional Express airlines to threaten to withdraw service over demands from the council that it participate in security training. This training was only going to be temporary and would benefit the local airport staff. 

We took a call on the subject from Deputy Premier and Island woman Vickie Chapman, who said she was a regular passenger on Rex flights and the service the airline provided was the lifeblood of the island.

We agree, not just because The Islander newspapers are delivered from the mainland printing presses on the Rex flight each Wednesday, but because regular and affordable transport is vital for anyone living on an island.

Ms Chapman however said both the airline and the council needed to “calm down”, act responsibly and resolve the issue for the sake of their business, customers and local residents. We could not have said it any better Vickie.

There is no doubt that Rex is feeling pressured by council and perhaps even feels it is playing second fiddle to Qantas, but what we can say is that Kangaroo Island needs both Rex and Qantas.

Rex national airports manager David Brooksby warned that in the light of the drastic pilot shortage, a decision to reduce services or to exit could result in the changes implemented within as little as 14 days.

We certainly hope this is not the case and that Rex goes on to serve Kangaroo Island for another 28 years or more. – Stan Gorton

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