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Old Timers Mine

Works Manager 

Darren Zechner 

reports that, "Correspondence is continuing with John F. Berthon Engineers regarding the mechanical integrity and proposed fix for the shade structure at the triangle playground."


Power Station Report

Peter McBain, Distribution Supervisor

The whole town was without supply for approximately three hours during this month due to the alternator burning out in Genset # 1.

Disconnection of electrical wiring was carried out in preparation to remove the alternator.

Ted Brereton, Manager of Operations for enGen, came for a site inspection and also addressed Council to discuss causes of previous outages etc.

Two Central Diesel contractors from Adelaide have been carrying out major services on a few of the Gensets and additional repairs as required by enGen.

Mechanical Technician from Deutz, Melbourne was on site to carry out warranty work and maintenance on the Genset engines.

Wind Turbine alternator was removed and has been sent to Adelaide to be rewound.


From the Report by 

Ross Sawers, Far North Economic Development Officer

Opal Promotion

Dubai and China opal buyers have been put back one month.

Held a workshop entitled "Assistance to Help You Sell and Market Overseas" in conjunction with TradeStart (Dept. of Trade) aimed at raising opal miner’s awareness of the assistance available from Government for travel to Trade Shows. 

25 attended.


The FNEDO is currently trying to resolve the future of the town’s fortnightly paper, the Coober Pedy Regional Times. At the moment the paper is struggling to achieve commercial viability and has many inherent structural problems.




Archived copy

Issue number 103 marks the beginning of the fifth year for the Coober Pedy News



Issued by Steve Baines, Mayor

As a result of issues relating to anti-social behaviour, in particular around the area of Hutchison St, Council in April of last year formulated a ten point plan in an attempt to try and address these issues. I think it is probably appropriate at this time to advise the community what is contained in the ten point plan and how Council has been trying to address these points.

1/ Actively support Aboriginal Housing in the Implementation of a Transitional Accommodation Facility.

Council believes that a part of the problem is that non drinkers have nowhere to go. It is the belief of Council and others that a facility needs to be built to accommodate these people and give them an alternate place to go besides the main street. Council continues to work with all parties involved to progress this.

2/ Form stronger ties with Agencies

In October of last year the Senior Officers’ Group was formed. This group consists of senior officers from all government departments and organizations in Coober Pedy along with representatives from both State and Federal government agencies. The purpose of this group is to work in cooperation to resolve the issues facing the residents of Coober Pedy, in particular the issues of transients and anti-social behaviour. This group meets on a monthly basis and continues to address these problems.

3/ Continue to lobby the State Government for 24 hour policing.

I continue to lobby the State Government through the Minister and the Commissioner of Police for  24 hour policing. The last meeting I had with Minister Kevin Foley and Police Commissioner Mal Hyde was in October of last year at which time I was once again informed that the statistics do not support 24 hour policing. Since the March elections the Minister for Police is now Paul Holloway. I have requested a meeting with the Minister to once again put forward your case for 24 hour policing. I have also brought our concerns to the attention of the Premier and will continue to lobby on your behalf.

4/ Form partnerships with the Pt Augusta and Ceduna Councils.

Some of the issues relating to anti-social behaviour are also being experienced by the other communities that surround the APY lands. Strong ties have been formed with these other Councils, in particular Pt Augusta and Ceduna, in an attempt to support each other and learn from the successes and mistakes that each Council make. Mayor Joy Baluch, Mayor Ken McCartney and myself talk and meet regularly and the other two Mayors are extremely supportive of the Coober Pedy Community. Both Mayors accompanied me as support when I met with the Minister and Commissioner in October.

5/ Continued Active participation in the Liquor Accord

Council is an active member of the accord and continues to voice your concerns.


6/ Continued participation in the Coober Pedy Alcohol Management Committee

This committee was formed at the request of the Minister and includes the Liquor Licensing Commissioner. It results from Council’s application in 2005 for an extension of the Coober Pedy Dry Area. Council continues to be a core and vocal member of this group.

7/ Implementation and on going application of the Coober Pedy Dry Area Legislation.

Council is required to apply for an extension of the dry area on an annual basis and satisfy the conditions set down by the Liquor Licensing Commissioner. Council will continue to do this. The current dry area legislation expires in July of this year.

8/ Seek meeting with the APY Lands Council

Council has made previous approaches for a meeting with the Lands Council but was restricted by timing issues resulting from a Lands Council election. I plan to meet with the Lands Council before the start of this year’s summer influx.

9/ Continuation of the return to home program

Council and government agencies within Coober Pedy continue to source funding for the return to home program. At present some funding has been received to assist people to return back to their home on the lands.

10/ Conduct Audit of Services

It became apparent that different organizations and service providers in Coober Pedy were duplicating services or were just not familiar with the different services that each was responsible for. Council has written to each of these and is at present collating the information to distribute to each of the service providers in town.

I hope this satisfies people’s concerns that Council and the other Organizations in town are not ignoring the problems associated with anti-social behaviour and other issues in Coober Pedy. We spend a considerable amount of time and resources trying to address these problems and will continue to do so. As always, if anyone has any constructive suggestions as to what else we could be doing, please speak to any of my Councillors or myself, we would be more than happy to listen to your suggestions and we welcome your input.


MAYOR'S REPORT (From the Agenda of the District Council of Coober Pedy April Meeting)

On the 5th, 6th and 7th of April the CEO and I, along with Council’s legal representation were involved in Native Title negotiations in relation to the Breakaways Reserve.

The negotiations started on the evening of the 5th April with invited interested persons making representation to the Native Title Tribunal about specific issues that were a concern to them, giving people the opportunity to have their views heard and taken into consideration during the course of the negotiations. The next day and a half were taken up with confidential negotiations involving representatives from the District Council of Coober Pedy, Native Title claimants, Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, State Government representatives and were facilitated by Mr Bardy McFarlane, member of the National Native Title Tribunal. 

All parties agreed to explore the various ramifications of issues impacting on their specific organisation and it was agreed that the Tribunal reconvene another meeting in mid June 2006. As a result of Council’s 10 point plan to address issues of concern in Coober Pedy, a group known as the Senior Officers’ Group have been meeting on a monthly basis since October of last year. This group consists of senior members of the DCCP, Umoona Council, Umoona Aged Care, Umoona Health, Child Family & Youth Services, Coober Pedy Hospital, Coober Pedy Police, our local MP, Sobering-Up Centre, Department of Aboriginal Affairs Reconciliation, SA Housing Trust, Department of Families and Communities, Centrelink, Aboriginal Housing Authority and the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (Indigenous Affairs). 

The aim of the group is to identify issues of concern to the residents and service providers in Coober Pedy and to try and work out ways that these issues can be resolved by working as a collective group. Although much time is taken up trying to progress the Transitional Housing Facility other issues of concern are being worked on, not the least being the increased incidence of anti-social behaviour and the effects that transients are having on our community.

Some of the things being worked on by the group include a dry day each week where no take away outlets are open, the consolidation of Centrelink payments to coincide with the dry day, policing issues and the procurement of additional police for Coober Pedy, maintaining a presence on the lands during the summer period, back to home program, State and Commonwealth Government grants and funding. Outcomes of the Senior Officers meeting are also conveyed to State and Federal Ministers and advisers. 

The group also tries to bring on board and solicit involvement from other influential people and organisations such as the Liquor Licensing Commissioner, Department of Transport, etc. 

The public toilets in Hutchison Street are now operational. I believe this is a much needed facility for tourists and residents alike, and as a tourist town is long overdue. I have had some very positive comments about the facilities being provided in the main street and commend Councillors for allowing these funds to be included in this year’s budget.


Never wise to give up

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Outback Connect - a free IT support service in the far north

A free and innovative project, called Outback Connect, is available in the far north of SA to assist people to solve problems they might have with their computers.

This project is funded by the SA and Australian Governments and anyone in remote SA can register for the service. Registration entitles users to 10 hours of free basic IT training and technical support.

Outback Connect works like this -

If you have a home computer and are connected to the Internet, you can simply log onto the Internet from your home to get the training or technical help you choose. This service uses the same program as School of the Air, and it is offered at various times of the day or in the evening.

If you cannot log-on at all, there is a phone helpdesk where a computer technician, based in regional South Australia, can offer assistance.

If you do not have your own computer, or would like to get some face-to-face help, then you can make an appointment to see Jannelle, the Outback Connect trainee at the Mintabie School and Telecentre.

A number of young people throughout very remote areas of the State are employed as IT trainees in local organisations, offering support for local computer users. They can help with basic problems, such as virus protection or loading software, or assist you to understand more about using your computer or the Internet.

Jannelle Angus has begun an Outback Connect traineeship doing an IT certificate. She works at the Mintabie Area School and Rural Transaction Centre where she offers computer support for school and telecentre staff, and for members of the public.

She will soon be working at Marla also.

People in Coober Pedy can access the phone and internet service if they are unable to meet Jannelle personally.

 For more information or to register with Outback Connect contact our local call number, and speak to coordinator Ann Johnston on 1300 887 422.

You can also check the website at www.innovation.