Coober  Pedy News

No. 79                                               15 April 2005

The Coober Pedy News is published fortnightly. For updates between issues, on which comments can be registered, click the Coober Pedy News Blog.

Archived copy



Transitional Accommodation:

 "fallen into a hole"

 Coober Pedy Mayor Steve Baines says that he has been told that plans to establish a Transitional Accommodation Facility (TAF) in Coober Pedy have been shelved. 

He says the message has come from Archie Baker (Aboriginal Housing Authority), convenor of the meetings to establish a Coober Pedy TAF. The reason given is that Coober Pedy does not have 24 hour Policing, and this is apparently crucial to the operation of the facility. 

Mayor Baines says that although he has participated in several meetings to get a TAF set up in Coober Pedy, this is the first time he has heard that a TAF must have 24 hour Policing as a backup.

He says he is very disappointed because Council is hoping that the establishing of the facility will go a long way towards solving the problem of catering for the sometimes large number of visitors from APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara YankunytjatjaraLands, who spend a lot of their time in Coober Pedy in the main street. 

When this is combined with alcohol abuse, the resulting anti-social behaviour is a very great concern to local businesses, tourists and local people.

In his Mayor's Report to the District Council Council of Coober Pedy for the April meeting, Mr Baines lists initiatives he has implemented on behalf of Council to address this anti-social behaviour :

* Actively supporting Aboriginal Housing Authority in the implementation of a Coober Pedy TAF - TAF's in Ceduna and Pt Augusta are helping the situations in those towns. A TAF is a Dry Area and people consuming alcohol there are removed.

* Forming stronger ties with local agencies - trying to coordinate them.

* Continue to lobby the State Government for 24 hour policing.

* Form partnerships with the Pt Augusta and Ceduna Councils - asking to be included in the meetings already occurring between them, and between them and APY Lands.  

* Continued active participation in the Coober Pedy Liquor Accord.

* Continued active participation in the Coober Pedy alcohol management committee.

* Implementation and on-going application of the Coober Pedy Dry Area Legislation - Council still wants to include the Ampol Restaurant area but Bill Prior, the Liquor Licensing Commissioner, responsible for preparing submissions to Cabinet on the Dry Area for Coober Pedy, does not want to include it. Apparently this is because an increase in the area may not be accepted by the Cabinet, and anyway, anti-social behaviour occurring on private land is no concern of the Cabinet's Dry Area business.

* Seek meeting with APY Lands Council - Government workers in APY Lands close down completely in summer, whereas Coober Pedy government agencies maintain a skeleton staff over summer, which APY Lands residents try to make use of. APY Lands administration expects visitors to conform to their laws (permits for entry etc.) so they should have a reciprocal responsibility to be aware of laws in other jurisdictions, and also to make sure their own residents are aware of the law in other jurisdictions.

* Continuation of the Back to Home Program.

Letters have been sent, and discussions have taken place with Peter Buckskin of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Premier Rann, Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Kevin Foley, Attorney General Michael Atkinson.

Following Ampol Restaurant's Kypros Pantellis addressing Council last month on his problems with anti-social behaviour there, Mayor Baines, CEO Trevor McLeod, and Senior Sergeant Mark Weaver visited Mr Pantellis. He is reported to now be better able to find a way to tackle the problem.

Mayor Baines said that moves from down south for Coober Pedy to establish a "Wet" Area will not be entertained unless modification are made to it. Council absolutely rejected this concept for Coober Pedy - it doesn't exist anywhere down south, so why have it here?

He said that recently he asked Police to ask some communities in APY Lands to send down buses to take back their residents stranded here. The buses came and took the people home.

No Pokies 4 Coober Pedy

A journalist from the Adelaide Advertiser will be in Coober Pedy on Monday and Tuesday 18 and 19 April, seeking anecdotal evidence of problem gambling in the town, and interviewing agencies who wrote letters of support for the campaign.

At the April District Council of Coober Pedy meeting Cr Boro Rapaic's Motion on Notice ,"That Council publicly supports the proposal to remove all poker machines from the Town" is listed for the second month. A lack of quorum in March (Cr Maylin apparently has been advised that he should not vote on the grounds of it being a Conflict of Interest for him) prevented a vote on the Motion. The quorum is five councillors. With Cr Roanna Wardle again being most likely unable to attend because of work commitments out of town, all it needs is for one other councillor to be absent and the Motion will have to be bypassed again.

Council had a Special Meeting on Tuesday March 22. Under Section 90 of the Local Government Act, the public were excluded, and the minutes of the meeting will be kept confidential until  30 June 2005.


Minutes of the March 15 meeting record that Cr Harry Blobel was not present, and that he did not tender an apology.



 Extract from Vol. 56 Issue 12 of the Woomera Board Publication, the


The Gibber Gabber is also available online at:

Woomera Prohibited Area Trials Activities

RAAF Aerospace Operational Support Group Range Operations conducted training and maintenance tasks from April 5 to 15.The training phase involved tracking stores dropped from an F/A-18 aircraft. This was in preparation for the Australian Army new ARH Helicopters which are due to conduct trials in the WPA next month.




3 Doctors are at a Convention talking Shop. The first Doctor says: "I love doing surgery on Artists, they are so colourful: red Hearts, pink Stomachs, green Spleens."

The next Doctor says: "Me, I love doing surgery on Accountants, open them up and all their Parts are numbered, makes it very easy."

The third Doctor says: "I love doing surgery on Lawyers, they have no Heart, they have no Guts and the Head and the butt are interchangeable!"


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