Coober Pedy News
       No. 62                                                  6 August  2004

Archived copy

                     Letters to Editor                     

Community Cabinet in Coober Pedy

As part of the Community Cabinet visit to Coober Pedy, the invitation only barbecue exclusiveness turned out to be inclusiveness when about 500 individually name tagged guests went to the Greek Club for the SA Labour government open forum chaired by Premier Mike Rann. Most of his ministers and executives were there to answer any questions from the floor.

Trevor Berry, internet opal seller, asked what opal miners should do to attract government assistance for their industry. Mineral Resources Development minister Paul Holloway said they should get together and make a common voice instead of a fractured approach. He said 92% of the Precious Stones Field had not been explored yet.

Miner Darryl Borrett said that government paid drilling of 350 holes was a waste of time. A Lambina miner asked why Lambina got nothing of the $100,000 made available. Mr Holloway said that Lambina production had dropped a lot and $50,000 for the nearby Welbourne Hill field was appropriate.

Transport minister Trish White said that the Coober Pedy Mayor and councillors had convinced her that she should go out and look at the roads in the region. Premier Rann said that South Australia has 7.8% of the national population and 11.8% of the nation's roads, yet only gets 3.5% of Federal road funding. Nevertheless he promised that he would double road funding for Coober Pedy.

Education minister Jane Lomax-Smith said she would be personally available to anyone who wanted to talk about local education problems.

Health minister Lea Stevens was made aware by Fiona Collins that all expectant mothers have to go south for delivery, but because they are not going to see a specialist, they cannot get the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme funding.

Miner Boro Rapaic said that gambling was ruining Coober Pedy and all poker machines should be removed.

Councillor Mike Maylin said that police numbers and availability in Coober Pedy were seriously low. Miner Frank Novasel said that if the current amount of stealing keeps going much longer, someone was likely to be killed. Premier Rann's response was that vigilantes would be put behind bars quick smart.

Mabel Lecoviak said that the answer to the problem of stealing was to tackle the cause - lack of education, employment, and activities for youth.

A clear message outside the forum venue Premier Rann and Cabinet Standing room only in the Greek Club

Aboriginal Health

The Umoona Tjutagku Health Service Inc. was the venue for the launch of the Coober Pedy Report on the "Better medication management for Aboriginal people with mental health disorders and their carers".

MC Maurine Williams introduced the speakers -

        * Mr Scott Wilson from Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (SA) Inc.,

        * Dr Inge Kowanko, Senior Research Fellow Flinders University,

* Prof Charlotte de Crespigny, Professor of Nursing (Alcohol & Other Drugs) Flinders


The Report was launched by The Hon. Terrance Roberts, SA Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation.

Seated at front, r to l, Prof. de Crespigny, Hon TerranceRoberts, Scott Wilson                                 Maurine Williams, Ian Crombie

A Coober Pedy man, Doug Trenham, got a mention on the ABC TV program 'New Inventors', for his kitchen utensil.

Fish Trivia

Did you know that....

* One in ten pet owners have fish.

* In the United States one in ten households have at least one freshwater aquarium.

* Almost half of home aquarists have been active hobbyists for five years or more.

* Florida produces and supplies 95 percent of the tropical fish sold in North America.

* The population of home tropical fish exceeds 200 million specimens.

* In nature about 40% of all fish live in freshwater.

* There are more fish on Earth than birds or mammals.

* New fish are being discovered all the time. It's believed there may be 28,000 different species.

* Blind Cave fish are born with eyes, but as they grow up skin grows over them.

* The Croaking Gourami croaks when it is mating

* Climbing Perch can walk on dry land and even climb trees.

* Prize winning Koi have sold for tens of thousands of dollars - for just one fish.

* Discus feed their babies on mucus they excrete from their bodies.

* Female Guppies can have up to five litters of babies from mating only one time.

* Tennessee's 130,000 square foot public freshwater aquarium is the largest in the world.

* The finest Caviar comes from a freshwater fish - the Beluga Sturgeon.

* Arowana babies live in their father's mouth until they are big enough to be on their own.

* The bright stripe on Cardinal Tetras makes it hard for predators to single out one fish in the school.

* Well cared for Goldfish can live to be as much as 70 years old.