Coober Pedy News
       No. 71                                                      10 December 2005

Archived copy          

 Letters to Editor         
Pokies - Take 'em out!
Over 800 sign petition 
This is a huge majority of Coober Pedians  -  the Australian Electoral Commission website shows that at the recent Federal election a total of 904 formal and informal votes were cast at the Coober Pedy polling booth.

Mr Boro Rapaic, prime mover of the No Pokies for Coober Pedy movement, said that, in addition, he is in the process of obtaining letters of support from local clubs and organisations and business houses. 

He anticipates Mr Nick Xenophon,  No Pokies MP in the SA Parliament Upper House,  will make another visit to Coober Pedy soon, when a local formal steering committee will be established, and a website launched.


The photo that has started a mild blog rash 

(Courtesy Wallace Craig, Midland, Texas)




Behold the single most puzzling bumper sticker in Texan history.

Not sure what you Aussies mean by "pokies" (although I have an idea), but here in Texas the slogan "No Pokies n Coober Pedy" probably means someone doesn't want a state penitentiary built there.

Posted by: R C Dean at December 7, 2004 at 04:26 AM

Behold the single most puzzling bumper sticker in Texan history

I am pleased to take on noble causes all over the world! Please help support the downtrodden gamblers of the Outback. For more info on "No Pokies" I refer you to The Coober Pedy News.

Posted by: Wallace-Midland, Texas at December 7, 2004 at 04:44 AM

What would be the point of pokies in Coober Pedy? Is it just for the locals, or do they think people will drive from Oodnadatta to gamble-away their hard-earned money?

I must note that I spent two days in Coober Pedy a couple years ago. It was really cool. No, wait, it was not cool, since it was near Christmas, and the place is in a damned desert. I believe it hit 40C while we were there. But it was really interesting.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at December 7, 2004 at 05:50 AM


A reader sent in reference to, from which the following is reproduced:

Winning the Jackpot
In the Productivity Commission's final report on the Australian gaming industry, the Productivity Commission made reference to a 'Black Rhino' gaming machine which is popular in many gaming venues.

Calculations made by the Commission using this example resulted in the Commission concluding that - in order to win the jackpot on this gaming machine, a consumer would need to make 6.7 million button presses, with 391 days of continuous play (24 hours a day) and spend A$330,000. Even then, the probability of winning the jackpot is still only 50 per cent.

Obviously, gaming industry representatives including Star City Casino, ACIL and the Australian Casino Association argued that the Productivity Commission's representation of 'Black Rhino' showed a poor understanding of how gaming machines actually worked, however the Commission later proved that their calculations were correct.
"Problem Gamblers"
The Australian Productivity Commission reported in 1999 that Australia has more than 21 per cent of the world's gaming machines, 290,000 Australians (2 per cent) are "problem gamblers" and they account for over A$3 billion in losses annually.

These 290,000 Australians directly affect an estimated 3 million people (1 in every 5 Australians) as a result of crime, bankruptcy, divorce, suicide and lost time at work.

The Victoria Casino and Gaming Authority Longitudinal Community Impact Study, 1999 Report outlines that 82 per cent of Victorians are concerned about the impact of gambling. In Victoria, the share of all gaming machine players who have significant gambling problems is 27.2 per cent - 1 in 4 (3.6 to be exact) people.
Government Revenue
The Australian Productivity Commission also reported in 1999 that total losses on gambling amounted to over A$11 billion of which A$3.5 billion is paid in taxation from a turnover of some A$95 billion. The Australian government rely heavily on this taxation.

Nearly 70 per cent of gambling taxation revenue is collected in two jurisdictions - New South Wales and Victoria - and the largest source of revenue is from gaming machines. 



A humorous but profound economic lesson in tax cuts  -   Courtesy of The Right Scale Tuesday December 7, 2004


Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

 The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
 The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
 The seventh $7.
 The eighth $12.
 The ninth $18.
 The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20."

So, now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.

So, the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share'?

The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being 'PAID' to eat their meal.

So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
 The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
 The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
 The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
 The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man "but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than me!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all.. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore. There are lots of good restaurants in Europe and the Caribbean.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Economics
536 Brooks Hall
University of Georgia


 Extracts from Vol. 55 Issue 36 of the Woomera Board Publication, the


The Gibber Gabber is also available online at:


Town Mosquito Control

Tenants with rainwater tanks have been issued with a small disposable container of liquid Paraffin oil for addition to their rainwater tank to help control mosquitoes. Rainwater tanks that have been emptied should also have the oil placed in them. This is safe to use and will not taint the water. Full instructions are with the bottle. Facilities will be attending to the unoccupied housing.

If anyone has any concerns or queries, please contact the DSCW Help Desk on 86743266. Any other areas that collect water, such as old tyres and containers, should be drained. If the residents in town all combine in a community effort, we should see a marked reduction in mosquito numbers and enjoy the evenings a lot more.


Woomera Prohibited Area - Trials Activities 2005.

2005 is shaping up to be a busy time for the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) with eighteen activities currently booked for range time. Some of the activities will include JAXA NEXST 1, 2nd rocket launch, Army/AOSG Helicopter test & evaluation trials (T&E), AOSG air ground missile firings, Army ground based air defence exercises, RAAF/DSTO countermeasure T&E, AOSG/DSTO GPS trials, RAAF countermeasure detection training, JALO explosive/ordnance demolition, UK Army/DSTL hot equipment test/trials, ASRI Small Sounding Rocket Program, Army driver training exercises, UK/AOSG balloon trials, vehicle testing UAV trials and 3 Scramjet rocket launches. 

Any questions regarding range or airfield activities are to be directed to DSCW Ranges Group staff on 08 8674 3211.

Residents are reminded, any person wishing to enter the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) must obtain permission before entering the area. 

Approval also needs to be gained from the Pastoral Station owner of the lease they wish to access. 

Authorisation needs to be obtained from both parties before access is approved. 

All requests for permission to enter should be directed to the Defence Support Centre Woomera (DSCW) for the attention of the Area Administrator Woomera.

Any person found in the WPA unlawfully is liable to prosecution in accordance with DFR35. Penalties for being unlawfully in the WPA range from fines to imprisonment or both.


 Golf tee off - Woomera style


The dog-gone councillor disappeared from the chambers

The November District Council of Coober Pedy meeting was getting bogged down in the discussion of determining the areas where dogs could be exercised free of leash.   It had drifted into the kind of dogs councillors owned, and attributes of dog breeds, and how they exercised their dogs.

 But the areas were finally determined and the motion was put and voted in. And then Councillor Mike Maylin got up without leave or explanation and walked out of the chambers.

On his return minutes later he announced boldly, as if under compulsion to explain his disappearance,

"I just went and asked me dog and he said it's alright!"


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