Monday 14 October 2013
Special Edition 53
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Coober Pedy Local Announced as Finalist in South Australia's Australian of the Year Award
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Dean Walker - Community Constable
A lynchpin in the Coober Pedy and Oodnadatta communities, Senior
Community Constable Dean Walker has shown excellence in bravery,
sensitivity and cultural awareness.
From rescuing two young girls
from a swollen river to helping young Indigenous offenders get their
lives back on track, Dean goes beyond the call of duty to make a
difference to his community and the lives of the people he serves.
Dean uses his advocacy, communication and leadership skills to connect
the local Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities, and to influence
society for the better.
Dean was responsible for delivering the South
Australian Police Aboriginal cultural awareness program, which
increased the police service's cultural knowledge of Indigenous
Dean gives back in many ways - from coaching sporting teams
to bringing together young and old Aboriginal men to promote healthy
living, bush skills and positive role models.
IT’S TIME TO DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN
With the ACT and NSW considering same-sex marriage, Pastor Margaret Court has called on all Australians to put the
birth-rights of children first.
Man + Woman marriage is the only institution able to protect the biological birth right of children to know and be
raised by their natural mum and dad, to know their relatives and ancestors, their medical history and, most importantly,
Same-sex marriage is a social construct that fails to recognize this deeply, biologically-based, birth right of every child.
We must fight for the rights of our children and stand united together and put God first in our Nation.
In the beginning God made man for woman and woman for man to multiply the earth. Marriage is ordained by God.
We need to fight for the family unit and protect it for the future of our land.
When legislation is changed to please man and not God, greater darkness comes upon a Nation resulting in greater
immorality and therefore the decline of a Nation. Let us stand for righteousness and truth.
I implore you, do not go the way of man but the way of God. Fight for the family and ensure that we are a united
voice to protect marriage between a man and a woman.
Rev Dr Margaret Court AO
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Does a Faltering Opal Market Spell Doom For Coober Pedy?
By Melissa Paine. Repeated from Special Issue No.51
It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the uncertain future of
opal mining in Australia. Years of a booming mining sector draining young
talent, uncertain and sometimes stifling business and regulatory
conditions, and competition from synthetic opals have all contributed to
the local industry's gradual decline. Towns that were built and
thrived on the opal industry such as New South Wales' Lightning Ridge
wondering what the future holds. The Lightening Ridge Mining Association
even held a public meeting earlier this year to rally support for their
town and its opal industry.
In Coober Pedy, the “Opal Capital of the
it is important to realise these issues exist – even with a council that
prioritises keeping an opal industry as vital. The town already has a
declining population according to the 2011 Census, as well as a relatively
high unemployment rate. Could a faltering Australian opal industry be the
last straw for one of Australia's most recognised opal bases.
Almost a Century of Opal Discoveries
Coober Pedy has been associated with opals and opal mining since they were
first discovered in February 1915 by a group of prospectors searching for
gold. The arrival of a railway line combined with the migration of construction
worker and returned soldier miners cemented the town's future, as the
famous dugout mining method developed. Today, with more than 70 opal fields
Coober Pedy is the largest opal mining area in the world and supplies
roughly 80 per cent of the world's opals. However, there are increasing
worries that Australia's historic opal mining industry is in deep
Something that could have drastic implications for Coober Pedy.
Losing Talent, Too Many Regulations
Most opal miners are self-employed – searching for, digging out and selling
opals as they go. While this maximises profit by eliminating any middlemen
or bosses, it can result in unstable pay checks. Compare this to the huge,
$100,000-plus pay rates being offered by mining companies and it is easy to
understand why many younger people have left opal mining. Some industry
insiders now estimate the average age of opal miners is 60 years old as a
result. Compounding this, many opal miners in Australia are complaining
that increasing costs and regulatory frameworks are making opal mining
harder than ever. Kev Phillips, who has been mining opals in Queensland
since the 1980s, told the
“mountains of fees and paperwork imposed by state governments” was pushing
people out of the industry. It goes without saying that anything pushing
people from the industry will equally discourage the next generation from
joining – furthering the exodus of young blood. Add to this mix the impact
of synthetic opals, introduced to the market from the mid 1970s and now
estimated by some to be impacting by as much as $300 million, and it is
easy to understand why Australia's industry may be in trouble. With opals
acknowledged as the backbone of the Coober Pedy economy, there is a real
danger for the town's economic future.
Hope in Oil and Gas
Paradoxically, for Coober Pedy the mining, oil and gas industry which
drained much of the opal industry's young blood is the very thing that
could provide a foundation for future prosperity. At the start of this year
Brisbane-based company Linc Energy released oil drilling reports estimating
there could be between 3.5 billion and 233 billion barrels of oil in the
Coober Pedy's Arckaringa Basin, worth trillions of dollars. Linc engaged
Barclays Bank to find an investment partner
help fund the staggering $150-$300 million cost of the project's next
stage. Finding the money should not be problematic, with the outlook for
oil stocks good and promising with “robust” earnings and dividend
to money.co.uk This shale
oil find alone could spark a new boom in Coober Pedy reminiscent of the
town's opal exploration boom of the 1960s and 1970s.
Looking Towards Tourism
Tourism could be Coober Pedy's other economic saviour. The town's
world-famous reputation as the Opal Capital of the World has created a
strong local tourism industry, and given it the sort of international exposure
many other isolated Australian towns would love to have. In fact, tourism
has developed so much that it is one of Coober Pedy's biggest industries
these days – equal to opals. Although it is important to recognise that
this tourism is intrinsically linked to opals, including events such as the
annual gem shows and opal festivals. Without maintaining this strong link,
Coober Pedy's tourism industry would surely suffer despite attractions such
as underground houses, churches and museums. By 2007, the Coober Pedy
district was averaging more than 100,000 international and domestic
visitors a year injecting tens of millions into the local economy. While
this has been impacted by 2008's global financial meltdown tourism remains
a strong local industry. This was recently recognised by the District
Council of Coober Pedy, which named tourism a primary economic driver for
the area that was critical for the future in its Strategic Plan
This year's major oil revelations mean Coober Pedy is particularly well
placed to survive any drastic downturn in the opal industry. However, as
recognised by the council, tourism and opal mining are both essential to a
prosperous future for the town. It is an important step for government
to recognise and act on this. More must be done to preserve the historic
opal industry, lest Coober Pedy risk putting all its eggs in the oil and
gas industry – and risk facing an eventual Lightening Ridge situation. A
vital first step for this is to attract young blood back into a dying art.
From a reader
A broadcaster speaking in Auckland , says, "I am truly perplexed that so many
of my friends are against another mosque being built in Auckland . I think it
should be the goal of every New Zelander to be tolerant regardless of their
religious beliefs Thus the mosque should be allowed, in an effort to promote
That is why I also propose that two nightclubs be opened next door to the
mosque, thereby promoting tolerance from within the mosque. We could call one
of the clubs, which would be gay, "The Turban Cowboy ", and the other a
topless bar called "You Mecca Me Hot."
Next door should be a butcher shop that specializes in pork, and adjacent to
that an open-pit barbecue pork restaurant, called " Iraq o' Ribs." Across the
street there could be a lingerie store called " Victoria Keeps Nothing Secret
", with sexy mannequins in the window modeling the goods.
a liquor store called "Morehammered."
All of this would encourage Muslims to demonstrate the tolerance they demand
of us, so their mosque issue would not be a problem for others."