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The Coober Pedy News is published fortnightly. 

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Push for 24 Hour Policing Fails Again

Mayor Baines to keep trying

Last week Coober Pedy Mayor Steve Baines met in Adelaide with State Minister for Police Kevin Foley requesting 24 hour policing but to no avail. 

Also present were Port Augusta Mayor Joy Baluch, Ceduna Mayor Ken McCarthy, Commissioner of Police Mal Hyde and Deputy Commissioner Gary Burns.

Mayor Baines was told that in the last year only 42 calls were made to the police after the station closed at around 1 am. This, together with the ABS figure of about 2,500 for the town population, does not rate highly enough for 24 hour policing.

Summer is coming. This is the time when many transients visit Coober Pedy. Bashings and stabbings associated with alcohol abuse have occurred in the main street.

The Minister conceded that after hours calls for police in Coober Pedy would in future be handled by two local rostered officers, instead of being diverted to Pt Augusta. He also said that an appointment has been made for a policeman in Oodnadatta, which will take a load off the Coober Pedy officers.

Mayor Baines also says in his Monthly Report,  "I will continue to lobby both the Labour and Liberal governments until 24 hour policing is a reality in Coober Pedy, and I will accept nothing less."

LGA Roads and Works Conference

In his Monthly Report the Works Manager, Darren Zechner, says that he recently represented the DCCP at the 13th Local Government Association Annual Roads and Works Conference in Port Pirie.

He says that new legislation is expected to be passed requiring councils to budget for the replacement, or refurbishment of, assets over the expected lifespan of the particular asset, e.g. sealed roads. The LGA are lobbying the relevant government bodies to provide for road asset management.

The LGA has also been requested by conference delegates to obtain a legal opinion as to the practicability of mounting a legal challenge in the Federal Court challenging the Federal Government's formula in allocating road funding and grants to SA.

Largest Opals at SA Museum

Clinton McNamee and Rob De Blaquiere with their find.

 Tim Gilchrist, Publicity and Public Relations Officer at the SA Museum says that the opal pictured above, valued at $1.5M, will be on display at the SA Museum until the end of October. It was found by Clinton McNamee, Rob DeBlaquiere and Richard Burnett at Seven Water Holes, Lambina. The largest piece weighs over 4 kg.

Coober Pedy Area School art display in Museum north foyer - October is 'Opal Month'.

Amendment to Fees and Charges Schedule

In a report by Trevor McLeod, CEO of the DCCP there is a recommendation that Council charge a fee of $110 for an after hours callout to attend to a reconnection after disconnection, or an after hours callout where the fault occurs on the consumer's side of the service point or is not a fault due to a deficiency in Council's supply system.

In another report he says that Council has been contacted and visited by representatives of two organisations that are interested in pursuing discussions regarding alternative energy sources due to Coober Pedy's electricity supply and distribution system being off-grid.

The alternative energy sources mooted at this stage are geo-thermal - which basically involves piping water deep underground and heating it to produce steam to drive turbines - and photo-voltaic, which in essence is solar power. Representatives of enGen, Energy Generation Pty Ltd (formerly StateWest Power Pty Ltd) have had informal discussion with the organisations. The DCCP is contracted with enGen for its electricity supply.


In his report to the DCCP, Steve Staines, Outback Tourism Product Development Officer says that an information evening will be held on 9 November for prospective trainees and employers.

Responsibilities of trainees and employers will be explained.  It is hoped that six new traineeship positions will be created.

Environmental Health Officer Report (from Keith Simmonds)

Nine food premises have been inspected, the standard ranging from satisfactory to excellent.


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