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

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War on Drunks 

Mayor Steve Baines' report for the August Council Meeting:

"The CEO and I met once again with the Mayor and City Manager of Port Augusta Council on the 3rd August. Mayor Baluch and John Ste3vens were on their way back from the Lands after meeting with the Lands Council to explain the difficulties that our communities are experiencing. We agreed that an education campaign needs to be undertaken between our two Councils, to target the Lands people, and inform them of our expectations when they visit our communities. We agreed that as part of this education process the Port Augusta Mayor and myself should appear on a series of advertisements on Imparja television. It was suggested that we should appear in robes and clearly explain what our expectations are when these people propose to visit our towns. The CEO and i have suggested that we now need to visit the Lands and meet with the Lands Council to reinforce what the Port Augusta Council have spoken to them about, and to enter into two way dialogue with them in trying to find ways to resolve some of the problems our town experiences over the summer months. We have already made inquiries in an effort to travel to the Lands and meet with the Council."

"At the last Council (Coober Pedy) meeting councillors had some questions regarding the Umoona Dry Area application, and subsequently asked for a meeting to be convened between the Liquor Licensing Commissioner, Umoona, and the Police. This meeting will be held at 5.30 pm on August 29."

Outback Open Air Cinema Missing Funds

Steve Staines, Outback Tourism Product Development Officer, says in his report to the District Council of Coober Pedy August meeting that, "Unfortunately the cinema has suffered a considerable financial loss due to the alleged misappropriation of funds." 

Nearly $4000 is unaccounted for. Legal action will be taken to recuperate the missing funds.

Coober Pedy Miners Association Drilling Program 

Far North Economic Development Officer Ross Sawers says in his report to the District Council of Coober Pedy for July that the PIRSA stage of the program has re-commenced, drilling taking place north-east of Allan's Rise. 

Also in his report: Oxiana has appointed a Project Manager solely for the Prominent Hill site; the SA Government announced a discovery of another significant gold/copper deposit in the Far North; and Marathon Resources reports that all exploration on their Mabel Creek leases has ceased due to Native Title issues

No Pokies 4 Coober Pedy BBQ

To be held at the United Club, on Friday September 2. 

Recently on ABC Radio National, Duty of Care solicitor Douglass Knaggs talked about his Class Action against all State Governments (except WA,) on behalf of gamblers. Anyone wanting to be represented can get details from the Duty of Care Inc. website. 


In response to the question "What is happening about the provision of a gambling counsellor for Coober Pedy?" from the Coober Pedy News, the Media Adviser to Jay Weatherill,  Minister for Families and Communities said:

"Leeanne Head, Director, Community Connect within the Department for Families and Communities, said Coober Pedy was one of the DFC’s priority areas for extending problem gambling services.

"In addition to the Gambling Helpline – a 24-7 freecall phone counselling service for problem gamblers and their families across the State, the DFC is negotiating to establish financial counselling in the Children Youth and Family Services office at Coober Pedy," Ms Head said.

Previously, the Department provided an outreach gambling counselling service in Coober Pedy. It involved a counsellor, based in Whyalla, travelling weekly by air with the Royal Flying Doctors Service. This arrangement ended in 2003."

Coober Pedy Multicultural Forum Financial Counsellor Kevin Woon says that Coober Pedy Children, Youth and Family Services office at Coober Pedy already has financial counsellors, but what is needed is a Gambling Counsellor.


Councillor Gone AWOL?

As reported in the Coober Pedy News Blog, Councillor Harry Blobel did not attend the August District Council of Coober Pedy meeting, and did not tender an apology. This is the second month in a row that Councillor Blobel has been absent without tendering an apology, and the third time this year. He received 42 first preference votes when he was re-elected in may 2003.


Car Body Cleanup

A crusher has been operating again in Coober Pedy. Many hundreds of cars have been gobbled up. Bulldozer cuts in the town area and in the mining area have yielded up their contents, much of which has been in them for 30 years or more. Sims Metal set up their crusher on the old mining field, The Flats. As fast as Emelio Chignola hauled them in, they crushed them and took them away.

Emelio Chignola has spent many weeks gathering crusher fodder

Outback Anecdotes

In the remoteness of time and location, stories often get 'buried' and only surface years later, at about the same frequency as the finding of a new opal field. And just as a new field may fizz out, so may the voracity of these stories.

No. 1 Gasket material

A young teenager lived on a remote farm. The electricity generator motor blew a head gasket. The engine stopped. The teenager was told there would be no more ice cream until a new gasket could be bought to the farm, which might take a few weeks.

This was not acceptable. He liked ice cream.

He noticed an old cardboard sign, quite thick, hanging on a shed wall. He asked if he could have it.

Then he took the head off the generator motor and laid the cardboard sign over the engine block and managed to trace an outline of the cylinder ports and water channels etc, then he cut the holes and laid it on the block and tightened down the head. They tried, and the motor started.

The fridge got cold again and they had ice cream again.

About ten days later, boom! The last bits of the cardboard gasket burnt out and the motor stopped.

No more ice cream?

Fortunately by then the new gasket had turned up.


In another situation in a remote location when a head gasket needed to be replaced and a new one would be weeks away, the bush mechanic used thick bare copper wire to make loops to fit around the openings in the block. When the head was tightened down, the copper wire squashed out to form a seal around the holes, and the motor was able to be used in the time until the new gasket turned up.


Oxiana Shares  Quote from The Australian, 15 August

"The company's shares have surged over the past fortnight on speculation Xstrata was poised to make an offer.

From trading at just under a dollar a share before August 1, the stock surged to $1.245 by the close of trade last week on heavy volumes. The unusual price activity prompted the Australian Stock Exchange to issue a speeding ticket on Thursday, demanding an explanation for the steep share price rise.

Oxiana responded by acknowledging the takeover rumours, but also noting that the whole resources sector was performing strongly.

While upbeat about Oxiana's future at last week's Diggers & Dealers mining forum in the West Australian city of Kalgoorlie, Mr Hegarty went to great lengths to deny any approach from Xstrata.

"I have heard the rumours but I have no information on that," he said. "The mood is positive about these things that we are blessed to have. We are well and truly exposed to strong commodity prices and therefore we have to get some attention from investors."

Market watchers have also speculated that US copper producer Phelps Dodge could be an acquisition target as economists prepare for a prolonged commodities cycle on the strength of growing consumption trends in the developing world.

Bell Potter institutional dealer Mark Paterson said: "Oxiana is probably the standout of the large capitalised resources stocks at Diggers & Dealers.

"I think many investors have significantly underestimated its chances of growth and I don't think the market has seen the full value of Prominent Hill." 


Adultery-Only Divorce Blog -

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