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Coober Pedy’s Big Afternoon Tea, to raise funds for cancer research, will once again be held in the TAFE SA & PIRSA building on Saturday 27th May.

The Coober Pedy Big Afternoon Tea is sponsored by the Cancer Council of Australia and the District Council of Coober Pedy, and is aimed at raising funds to fight against a disease that affects one in three Australians.  It is a chance to relax, catch up and chat whilst raising funds that will benefit cancer patients and their families, of whom there are a number in Coober Pedy and the surrounding area.

  If you have any items you wish to donate to the “Monster Auction” please contact one of the people below to arrange collection.

Lynn Freeman – 86725298 or 86725848

Kate McLeod – 86789000 or 86725406

Miriam Kammermann – 86725009 or 86725460

Council Briefs

(From May Agenda)


( Darren Zechner, Works Manager)

Five CCTV cameras have been installed to poles covering aircraft parking, refuelling and car park areas and also an alarm system in the Terminal building by Alarm Logic personnel with associated trenching carried out by Works Dept. Additional Power points were installed by Maylin Constructions. This system is to be commissioned on 3/5/06 by the vendor. This project is being funded by a grant from the Department of Transport that was procured last year.


CEO Reports

(Trevor McLeod)


1. That the Councillors' allowance be $3,000.00 per annum, paid monthly in arrears on the last working day of that month; and  

That the Deputy Mayor's allowance be $4,000.00 per annum, paid monthly in arrears on the last working day of that month; and

That the Mayor's allowance be $12,000.00 per annum, paid monthly in advance on the last working day of that month, plus a vehicle and Mobil fuel card

2. That the above allowances be paid on a monthly basis up to the conclusion of the 2006 periodic election.

Motor Club Rate Rebate Request

Council is in receipt of correspondence from the Coober Pedy Motor Club Inc requesting consideration of a rebate of rates, service charges and fines & interest for the period 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006.

The Coober Pedy Motor Club Inc is the owner/occupiers of Allotment 1855 Seventeen Mile Road, Coober Pedy, with rates payment history as follows:

Rate Arrears (04/05) – b/forward: $200.49

Rates for 05/06: $526.25

Water Access Fee: $260.00

Fines & Interest: $ 7.11

Total: $993.85

Paid: (8/9/05) $397.09

(1/12/05) $196.55

Balance as at 10 May 2006: $400.21

It would appear from Council’s financial records, dating back to 2000, that the Coober Pedy Motor Club has not previously requested a remission of rates. However, Council needs to be mindful of the precedent it may set simply because an organisation has problems meeting its financial commitments.


Archived copy

War On Drunks Continues

Coober Pedy Mayor Steve Baines Fights On

APY Lands transients' socially unacceptable behaviour serves to unite SA and NT Local Government Elected Members

Next stop: Canberra

The following is from the Mayor's Report for the Council May meeting:

"On 19 April I met with a delegation from the Northern Territory to speak about the Coober Pedy Dry Area and problems associated with transients from the APY Lands. 

Amongst the visitors was the Mayor of Alice Springs Fran Kilgariff, CEO Rex Mooney, Alderman Jane Clark, Alderman Samih Habib, Mark Blackburn, Director Corporate and Community Services, Mayor Rod Swanson from Tennant Creek Council, from Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation, Betty Pearce, Esther Pearce, and Marg Furber-Ross.

It appears that their communities are also experiencing problems simular to ours, with transients from the lands moving into their cities and towns and displaying anti-social behaviour. I explained the pros and cons of our dry area to the delegation, stressing that legislative changes need to be made before the dry area will become effective, as at present the only recourse is to issue an infringement notice to the offender, and we all know how effective that is. 

A range of other issues were discussed ranging from Transitional Accommodation and wet areas to the town camps that are in place in Alice Springs.

It was agreed that a united approach needs to be taken and a forum involving the Mayors and CEOs from all effected Councils in Australia was discussed.

It is envisaged that a task force be established made up of all effected Councils that would travel to Canberra to try and make the Federal and State Governments finally sit up and listen and acknowledge that changes need to be made on the lands to keep these people there, and assistance needs to be given to communities such as ours.

An invitation was extended by the Alice Springs Mayor for me to visit Alice Springs and see the problems that they are experiencing, and maintain the strong ties that our communities now have.

On  April I once again met with the Mayor of Ceduna, Ken McCarthy. The purpose of the meeting was to compare how each of our communities found the past summer, assist each other by exchanging ideas and information on strategies that each Council has/is implementing, and retain the relationship that our communities now experience. Mayor McCarthy explained how Ceduna are now looking at installing Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in their Central Business Area, simular to what our Council tried to do several years ago. It appears that the cost of these systems has reduced significantly since we looked at them, and as such Council is once again exploring the feasibility of installing CCTV in Hutchison St and other areas in Coober Pedy. It appears that Ceduna also experienced a bad summer with increased numbers of transients and a higher incidence of anti-social behaviour and liquor related problems.

As a result of the meeting I had with the Minister for Police, Hon Paul Holloway, I met last week with two town planners from Planning SA. Over the Easter weekend I was able to take the opportunity of walking Hutchison St with the Minister and pointing out some of the problem areas that seem to attract drinkers, and experience a high incidence of anti-social behaviour as a result. The Minister promised that he would send someone from Planning SA to Coober Pedy to have a look at Hutchison St and work out some strategies that may deter people from congregating in these areas. I am pleased to advise that true to his word Mr Holloway sent two of his top people to assist us with this problem. The CEO and I met with these people, and after discussions with them to highlight our problems, we walked up and down Hutchison St pointing out areas of concern. They are now tasked by the Minister to come up with some strategies that could address the problems of anti-social behaviour that are prevalent in these places. We are also hopeful of grant funding to put their recommendations into effect."

Leaky Les' Poly Pipe Problem

Water Supply Manager Les Hoad 'inherited' a town water reticulation system that was installed in earlier days when about the only law in town was "Survive".

His report for the May Council meeting follows.  

"At the last Council Meeting I was requested to prepare and present to the next meeting, a report detailing the estimated cost of options to renew all pipes in town reticulation system. 

It is my opinion that all the original poly pipes in the reticulation system need renewing. I would suggest that the mains supply be prioritised in the first instance. Currently the following lengths of poly pipe need renewing:

6,000 m of 40 mm pipe; 800 m of 50 mm; 700 m of 63 mm.

This totals 7,500 metres of mains pipe requiring renewal. To date we have replaced approximately 2,000 m of varying sizes of pipe. Additionally there are about sixteen hundred services in town; all connected with 25 mm and 32 mm poly pipes. Approximately 25% of these services have been renewed. It is also my opinion that there are three (3) options available for consideration:  

Option 1 That the status quo remain and the Water Supply attends to leaks on an as needs basis. 

Option 2 Council engages contractors to undertake the work. It is estimated that replacement of the mains alone would be in the vicinity of $75,000 (labour and machinery only) with the cost of pipe, sand and overseeing an additional expense. This cost is based upon initial estimates of $1,000 per day, taking 75 days to complete the work. Additionally Council would no doubt be required to prepare tender documentation which would be an additional expense to that already mentioned. I do not believe that there are local contractors that are suitably compliant with Council’s OHS&W requirements to undertake this type of work.  

Option 3 Water Supply staff undertake a dedicated program of renewal of all poly pipes during the routine course of work. It is my contention that dedicating two men to the task would achieve the same result with a significant cost saving to Council. However, this must be contingent upon Council purchasing a new backhoe that can be further dedicated to this project. Quite frankly, it would be a nightmare to estimate the cost of replacement of the service connections. It would be more practical to present a verbal explanation of this comment at the meeting rather than attempt to explain it in writing.  I point out that during the preliminary budgetary discussions for 2005/2006 I identified the need to purchase an additional backhoe due to the increasing demand on its availability to the other departments. Due to other priorities and perhaps the need to be mindful of Council expenditure, the purchase of an additional backhoe was put on the backburner. I firmly believe that now is the time to seriously reconsider the purchase of a second backhoe in light of my recommendation that Water Supply staff undertake the replacement of poly pipes on a dedicated basis." 

Mr Hoad's monthly appearance at the Council Chambers consistently evokes big grins from elected members and staff, as they look forward to him relating his latest tales of battles with pipe leaks.

Oxiana Recruiting

Mick Wilkes of Oxiana said the company has a Mine Access Training Program for young people interested in working for Oxiana at Prominent Hill. On May 15 at Coober Pedy TAFE Oxiana will be available to talk to anyone interested. The first intake of successful participants of the program will be in September.


Breaking News (May 15).

Oxiana Mine Access Training Program Dates

The Oxiana Mine Access Training Program allows people who have never worked in the mining industry to gain an understanding of and get some skills to enter the mining industry. It is a 15 day program and is pre-employment training. Those who successfully complete the program will be offered jobs at the Prominent Hill Project

The sorts of jobs available at Prominent Hill include mining, truck driving and drilling.

Information sessions on what the program involves and how to apply for the program will be held at:

Tuesday, 16 May in Coober Pedy at 1pm at the CDEP Shed

Wed, 17 May at Oodnadatta, at 12 noon at the Dunjiba Community Office

Thursday, 18 May at 9 am at TAFE, Coober Pedy.


Click this URL for Oxiana's page on Coober Pedy Football Club etc.:

Ron Barassi with Saints Treasurer and player Mark Bell, and Coober Pedy school students

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Give them the best possible start

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children has launched its annual May Appeal to help young deaf children and blind children.

Research has shown that the earlier a blind or deaf child receives expert help, the better their chances are in life.

RIDBC helps children like Nathan, a four-year-old who loves buses, cars and trucks – even though he can’t see them.

Nathan, who is blind, attends an RIDBC preschool. Expert staff work with him to develop his independence. For instance, the fun games that he plays also help him build finger strength and dexterity in readiness for the time when he will learn braille.

In fact, Nathan is already familiar with the feel of braille. He plays with the brailler machine, and with help from RIDBC, everyday items in his preschool and home are labelled in braille.

RIDBC relies heavily on community support to be able to help children like Nathan. With tax time coming up, why not consider making a tax-deductible donation to RIDBC and help children like Nathan get the best possible start in life?

To donate, visit or phone 1800 043 411.

Family First  

"If the Budget is really about helping families it will contain a cut to petrol tax," Family First senator Steve Fielding said.  
He's urged Treasurer Peter Costello to cut petrol taxes by 10 cents a litre.
”What Australian families want out of today's budget is relief from the petrol pain,” Senator Fielding told reporters.
”If this Government is serious about putting families first, today's Budget will cut the fuel tax and give relief to families where they're hurting most.”

New figures show that petrol prices have reached a new record high of an average of $1.35 a litre across the nation.
Senator Fielding said cutting the price of petrol would also ease pressure on interest rates.
”For the Government to say there's nothing they can do about high petrol price and at the same time allowing governments to take over 50 cents per litre in tax is obscene,” Senator Fielding said.

“Of course there's something that we can do and that's to cut the fuel tax by 10 cents per litre, giving relief to families and small business and taking pressure of the interest rates.”