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'War on Drunks' Continues

As shown in the Mayor's Report presented to Council at the July meeting, efforts to get rid of anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol abuse in Coober Pedy's main street are continuing:

"The CEO and I travelled to Pt Augusta on the 8th July to meet with representatives of the Pt Augusta and Ceduna Councils. The meeting was the first time that all Councils had met to discuss issues affecting our communities during the summer months. 

The discussions revolved around the problems experienced by our communities, and how we could learn and assist each other during the course of the next summer. Many initiatives were discussed including issues relating to alcohol restrictions, transportation schemes, dealing with state government, and visits to the APY lands.

We brought away several good ideas that we are exploring such as implementing bylaws restricting alcohol consumption on Council land, and working with the school to try and enter onto a shared service agreement such as the no school no pool strategy.

I will be meeting again with the CEO and Mayor of the Port Augusta Council early next month. and am currently trying to facilitate another meeting between the Mayors of Pt Augusta and Ceduna Councils and myself mid next month.

On the 13th July the CEO and I attended a meeting with the Liquor Licensing Commissioner and major stakeholders in Coober Pedy. We were advised that Cabinet has approved the extension to the Coober Pedy Dry Area for a further twelve months. Conditions of the approval include the need for Council, along with Dept. Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation and the Liquor Licensing Commissioner to form an Alcohol Management Group.

The group is to include representation from all agencies that attended the 12 April meeting, and is to identify the issues relating to the alcohol abuse and the ensuing problems it causes. The group is tasked to identify ways to address these problems and report to the Minister every three months.

The meeting worked through identifying and formulating the terms of reference. The CEO has been tasked with putting together a draft terms of reference using the information agreed upon at the meeting. This will be circulating as soon as completed. As the District Council of Coober Pedy is the applicant to the Dry Area legislation, it is expected that Council will be the driving force behind this Group. The CEO and I have taken this task on board.

Councillors will recall that as part of the initiatives to address the problem of anti-social behaviour I sent a letter to all service providers and agencies in Coober Pedy in an attempt to conduct an audit of services. Many of these have now replied but there are still several that have not. In an attempt to reduce my workload I am looking for a Councillor to take this task over and chase up the outstanding responses and collate the information. I would appreciate someone taking on this very important task as it would allow me to concentrate on more pressing issues.

Steve Baines, Mayor. "

Deputy Mayor Mike Maylin said in the meeting that he would over the task, and Cr Paul Athanasiadis said he would assist if necessary.


Extracts From Council's July Meeting Reports

Electricity - Peter McBain, Distribution Supervisor

Unplanned Power Outages

The Hospital feeder tripped and normal supply returned after about 45 seconds with only part of the town experiencing an interruption to supply during that time. Another six unplanned interruptions occurred - Five of these interruptions affected only one customer on each occasion with the maximum outage being from half to one hour. Causes were: burnt out and faulty service fuses on four premises and a fuse base and holder burnt out on another property. The other interruption affected about 40 customers who were without supply for about half an hour due to an HV fuse blown which had to be replaced.

Planned Outage

Due to SWER extension of distribution line and installing transformer at Potch Gully for a new consumer, it was necessary to have supply interrupted to about ten customers during the course of one day.

Water - Les Hoad, Water Supply Manager

Following the last Council Meeting, as requested, I have checked the fire service connections around the town area and have found only one without a meter on it. This connection is located at the Coober Pedy Area School and the cost to fit a standard 80mm meter to the existing pipe would be about $1,600.

Council passed a Motion to authorise to fit the new meter.

Health - Keith Simmonds, Environmental Health Officer

Issues and actions undertaken during visit to Coober Pedy 23rd to 25th June

Food Hygiene Legislation Continued updating information on food hygiene requirements and material provided by Department of Health and other Government agencies.

Inspections Accommodation - 3; Food Premises - 12; Hair Dresser - 1.

Letters were written to all owners of premises inspected advising of the results of the inspection. The standard of premises ranges from satisfactory to very good. A follow-up  inspection was made of a premises that was unsatisfactory during the last inspection period with a vast improvement in cleanliness being observed. Two premises' standard of cleanliness in the food preparation area will need to be followed up.

Other Issues Discussion with Councillor on township wastewater disposal; examined Consultant proposal on township wastewater disposal.

Next visit scheduled for September 2005.

Tourism - Steve Staines, Outback Tourism Product Development Officer

Coober Pedy Visitor Information Centre (VIC)

The OTPDO has been working with Council's CEO and Tourist Information Officer in an effort to achieve National Tourism Accreditation (NTA) status and become a recognised accredited VIC within SA. Much of the documentation had already been completed by the OTPDO during his employment at Council, however it did require updating. It was necessary to undertake a revision of the business plan which was completed by the OTPDO. Coober Pedy VIC received notification of their accreditation in late June. This should be recognised by Council as a significant achievement and many benefits can come from it, including funding. However I urge Council to be vigilant in its efforts to follow through with the regulations associated with the NTA, especially the gathering and collation of statistics.

The sale of the new VIC advertising panels is an integral part to minimising the cost of accreditation to Council (i.e. operating seven days a week). For this reason the OTPDO has dedicated a significant amount of time over the past month to selling as many of the panels as possible. Much of the time was invested in explaining to businesses the benefits of promoting their product in the VIC. The NRDB's Administration Trainee, Emily Bussenschutt, has also assisted this exercise. At this stage it is looking unlikely that all panels will be sold to businesses in town. However the OTPDO has expressed his confidence to the VIC Management Committee that any remaining panels could easily be sold to business based outside of Coober Pedy but still within the region. The OTPDO and Council are aiming to have all panels sold by the end of July.

Dog Poisoning

Works Manager Darren Zechner told Council that the RSPCA will only get involved in doing an autopsy if there is a good chance of a successful prosecution. But in over 20 dog deaths recently in the Tom Cat Hill / Ice Cream Hill area, no person has been seen acting suspiciously. A limited examination of one dog body took place, but no conclusive evidence of any particular type of poison was found.

Pipe Locator

The apparatus tested in Coober Pedy recently was found to be, in two words, 'no good'

Race Club

Council agreed to provide cash and kind donations, the same amount as last year, as requested.

Question Without Notice

Cr Maylin's response gave the Mayor a bit of a fright when Questions Without Notice came up on the agenda, but he was only scratching his nose.

Councillor Again Absent Without Apology 

For the second time this year Cr Harry Blobel was absent from the Council Meeting without tendering an apology.



Oxiana announced that "a successful drilling campaign at the Prominent Hill copper gold deposit has added 1million ounces of gold to the Resource inventory and significantly upgraded Resource confidence."

Its share price is still around 93 cents, as it was 6 months ago.



No Pokies 4 Coober Pedy will hold a barbecue on September 1, to coincide with "Gamble-Free" Day in New Zealand. Further details to come. 

Following the State Government's historic roll-back legislation, these country venues have become pokie free: Curramulka Hotel, Spalding Hotel, Eudunda Hotel, Wunkar Golden Grains Hotel, Kangaroo Island Lodge.


Martin Smith, Coordinator of the Opal Festival advises that he is putting in for three grants, $13,000, $15,000 and $20,000, for next year's festival.


From the Gibber Gabber July 8

Ranges News 

Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) Trials Activities

During the month of July, Joint Logistics Command will conduct a major demolition activity "DIFFLO GRANDIS" at Lake Hart Demolition Area where they will dispose of unserviceable and time expired explosive ordnance. Twelve detonations are planned, and depending on weather conditions, residents may hear the blast, and smoke will be visible from the Village. Access to Lake Hart will be restricted, with sentries stationed at the control point on the Lake Hart road.

DSTO will conduct trials commencing 4 July using UAV's at the Woomera Airfield in conjunction with Aerosonde Pty. Ltd. The UAV's will operate over the airfield and to the north.

Over the next few weeks residents will see an influx of Japanese personnel into the Village as the Japan Aerospace Agency (JAXA) commences preparation for the NEXST-1 launch. The launch is scheduled for 15 September. Approximately 116 personnel will be involved during various phases pre- and post launch. Further details on trials or exercises is available from Ranges Group at DCW.


Left: Melbourne artist Robert Fisher, the "painter-man of William Creek", on the lookout to capture material with the video camera given to him by his wife.

Right: An image of his painting "Towards Coober Pedy", copied with permission from his website,




Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community

Thursday at 5pm there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become Little Mothers, please see the minister in his private study.

Next Sunday, a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and get a piece of paper.

Adultery-Only Divorce Blog -