Home' The Bunyip : January 10th 2018 Contents "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, January 10, 2018 Page 13
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SOUTH Australia is weathering the eco-
nomic transition brought on by the closure
of Holden's Elizabeth car manufacturing
plant, according to state Employment Min-
ister Kyam Maher.
While the state's general unemployment
rate went up from 5.8 per cent to 6.1 per cent
in December, the trend unemployment figure
-- which excludes seasonal factors by com-
paring the rate to 12 months beforehand -- re-
mained the same at 5.8 per cent.
The latter figure was up slightly from 5.6
per cent in November, but steady from Octo-
ber -- when Holden's closed down -- and the
lowest it's been for a December month since
2012, according to Mr Maher.
"Generally speaking, in terms of the clo-
sure of Holden, it is a difficult transition, but
it is going a lot better, now, than a lot of peo-
ple expected," he said.
"Two years ago, the Liberal Party were
forecasting double-digit, 10 per cent-plus un-
"We're not seeing that, we are right near
the average of the nation.
"In fact, over the last 12 months, the
South Australian unemployment rate has
come down more than any other state in
"So, it is a credit to the resilience of north-
ern Adelaide that we are weathering the big-
gest economic transition that most people
will see in their lifetimes, the downturn in the
auto industry, and coming out the other side
better than most people expected."
scrapped after failure
THE State Government's Alert SA emer-
gency warning smartphone app has been
canned after failing to provide vital in-
formation during Saturday's catastrophic
The Country Fire Service (CFS) issued
a Catastrophic Fire Danger warning for
Gawler and the Barossa on Saturday -- the
highest fire danger rating available -- with
the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) fore-
casting above-40°C weather and dry, windy
conditions for the local region.
The area, thankfully, escaped the day
without a significant incident, despite the
mercury peaking at 45°C in Roseworthy,
and wind speeds reaching 43 km/h before
changing direction in the afternoon.
Not everyone else in the state was as
lucky, with a bushfire in Sherwood -- about
220 km south-east of Adelaide -- destroying
12,100 hectares of scrub and farmland.
Despite the heightened bushfire risk, Alert
SA failed to provide updates on the day.
On Sunday, Emergency Services Minister
Chris Picton said emergency services will
no longer be supporting the use of the app as
a method of providing public notifications
about emergency incidents.
"We...ask South Australians to not rely
on the Alert SA app and utilise our tradi-
tional sources of information, including the
CFS website, emergency services social
media pages, the Emergency Alert system,
the Bushfire Information Hotline and ABC
radio alerts through a battery-powered ra-
dio," he said.
Mr Picton blamed Victorian company
Ripe Intelligence -- which the government
paid $250,000 a year to produce the app --
for the continued errors, saying its contract
would not be renewed when it expires in
It was the second time the app, which has
170,000 users, failed after being unrespon-
sive when bushfires broke out in Mount
Crawford and the Mid North last October.
That failure sparked a review into the
app, which identified possible remedies, but
didn't completely rule out further issues in
Member for Schubert, and Opposition
Emergency Services spokesman, Stephan
Knoll said the government failed to heed the
warning of the first failure, putting people's
lives at risk.
"Given the number of large fire events
in recent years, our region is very aware
when catastrophic bushfire conditions are
around," he said.
"I started receiving messages from local
residents early on Saturday, angry that the
service wasn't working on such an import-
"The government must do more to advise
residents to stop using the Alert SA app,
otherwise people will, potentially, miss out
on life-saving information."
The Alert SA app failed to provide emergency warning updates on Saturday, as a bushfire raged across
more than 12,000 hectares in the state's south-east.
PHOTO: Penny Moorhouse
I started receiving messages
from local residents early on
Saturday, angry that the service wasnʼt
working on such an important day.
- STEPHAN KNOLL
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