Coober Pedy News
       No. 56                                                   14 May  2004

Archived copy


    Crowded House

    Over 50 residents filled the council chambers on May 5 for the final public meeting to plan Coober Pedy town development.    Some had to sit on tables while others stood in the entrance. The Mayor, Steve Baines, flanked by five councillors and senior council staff, opened the meeting. He introduced the author of the latest plan, Garth Heynen, and Grant Riches, Council's Building Inspector, and handed the meeting over to Mr Heynen.

Mr Heynen explained that the meeting was not one in which discussion of the plan would be taking place: only those who had made submissions and who had indicated on their submission that they wished to speak on it would be allowed to.

The first speaker was 'Big' Yannis Athanasiadis. He asked if he could make a general comment before he spoke on his submission - He objected to this being the only public meeting about the plan held in Coober Pedy, saying, "Why should these people have any faith in you?" 

But the Mayor pointed out that there had been two other public meetings, one of which was held in the Coober Pedy TAFE.

Darryl Borrett spoke about the plan stating that heavy vehicle maintenance should not occur on residential land. At this, the Mayor made an emphatic statement to the effect that Council would NOT stop miners bringing in machinery off the field to their residences, and Council would NOT stop maintenance on heavy machinery in back yards.

Robert Coro and Deane Clee were not present to speak on their submissions, and an apology was received from Peter Rowe. Trevor Berry said that he thought the plan should include a statement that Council authority should not over ride PIRSA, (Mining Department), administered land within the Local Government area. Mark Bell was the last local speaker.

Mr Heynen asked if there were any speakers present from government agencies who had made submissions - Planning SA, Aboriginal Affairs, SAPOL, Environment and Heritage, NRDB, PIRSA and Aboriginal Legal Rights. No one responded.

Perhaps sensing that there was some degree of hostility towards his latest plan authorship, and its administration, Mr Heynen then said he would open the meeting for general public comment. He prefaced this by explaining that his job was to serve the Council, who in turn were to serve the people. He said that, not that he was after any 'Brownie points', this meeting was very well attended for the size of the town.

Then the people began to 'spill their guts', and much of the town feeling prior to the meeting got aired. Gunther Wagner said Planning SA should leave Coober Pedy alone - "no suburbia here" - tourists come to Coober Pedy just to see it like it is. And the "Council has to get more active in communicating." And the January 15 ad in the Coober Pedy Times was not a good choice because many people were away. Natalie Slovachevsky said that only "one third of the town buys the Coober Pedy Times, let alone reads it." The Mayor reminded that if the Council doesn't get the plan approved, the SA Government could step in and re-write it. 'Big' Yannis said that if that were to happen 'we' would get the government up here and tell them what we want. Monty Watts suggested between 7am to 7pm as times for miners to do maintenance. Garth Heynen said it would be better not to specify times. Trevor Berry said that Thursday, being shopping day for Coober Pedy, would be a good day for Council to be around shopping centres. Garth Heynen said that he would be returning to Adelaide after this meeting, but the Mayor and Councillors would still be here and they could be contacted with any further concerns. The meeting actually applauded him.

The Mayor said Garth's re-written plan would be returned in about four weeks. A special council meeting  would then be called to prepare the final draft of the plan, which would be submitted to the SA Government. The Mayor closed the meeting, reminding people that, "We are still here."

Crowded council chambers

l to r Grant Riches, Garth Heynen, Steve Baines

Variety Club Bush Bash

The Mayor in his Monthly Report in the Council Agenda for next Tuesday night said that the Variety Club Bush Bash would be visiting Coober Pedy around August 11. About 400 people were coming.

A clean joke from (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.)

18/04/2004 7:02 AM Posted by Jeffbubble

A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her name badge that she is called Patricia Whack. "Miss Whack, I'd like to get a 10,000 loan to take holiday." 

Patty looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name. The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it's ok, he knows the bank manager.

Patty explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral.... The frog says, "Sure. I have this" and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about half an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed.
Very confused, Patty explains that she'll have to consult the bank manager and disappears into the back office. She finds the manager and says, 

"There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow 10,000 and he wants to use this as collateral." She holds up the pink elephant. "I mean what in the world is this?" (you're gonna love this)

The bank manager looks up at her and says "Its a knick-knack, Patty Whack, give the frog a loan, his old mans a rolling stone" (you're singing it, aren't you!!!)