COOBER PEDY News & Events


Dear Editor,

Are recession preditors turning on their communities?

Upon reading the typical Advertiser (Adelaide Now) style  headline,  “Tourists duped in fake opal scam“, alarm bells began to ring.  Reading further and subsequently hearing it  rehearsed on regional radio, the picture became clearer.   “Boys cry wolf on competitors”. 

Is this the new style recession marketing plan of the contemporary Coober Pedy Miner come retailer, (incl. journos and other preditors), or have some of the old boys forgotton that this town thrived in hard times, attracting real workers, curious visitors and community spirit?
The opal miners association backed spokespeople, who commented on retail related issues in Coober Pedy, did so simply because CPOMAI lack qualification to do so.  CPOMAI also acted outside the boundary as to what the constitutional backbone of their agenda is (or lack of it) in hoodwinking our Federal member into acting on their ambitious  agenda.   I thought their agenda was to extract tax payers money to buy worthless drills or to sell roads through our mining fields.
To comment on so far, fictitious stories that concern the image and marketing of this great opal centre and its affiliated partners is similar to giving matches and explosives to children…you can always predict the result.
It seems to be those hiding behind the skirts of the spokespeople, (CPOMAI members and selected attendees of historically, non disclosed meeting dates), who have generated this ugly slur on our town.
Between them they have convinced a newly appointed sitting member of parliament that their story and position is credible, a naive cadet journalist who has a track record of not researching her stories – (The Mintabie saga – ongoing), a couple of gullible association members and presto, fake opal story to unsettle the industry.
One might also suggest hypocrisy for the partner of one local, bearing a “we don’t sell fake opal sign”, who up until recently wholesaled fake opal and urged people to call it Gilson.  Is he now a reformed fake opal seller, or is it that he wishes to increase his downward sales and portray himself as a moral pillar in the community by these claims?
I always found it curious that people would place a sign outside their premises claiming that they did not sell fake opal.  Well who would have thought they did??
The fake opal story has no credibility. Gilson has been sold in Coober Pedy for over 25 years.  As long as the consumer is aware of any category of product and its true description, it is not illegal. Secondly where are the complaints Mr Minister, Ms cadet journalist, Mr association member or have you all gone senile in the bowels of the recession animal or is our industry being damned in favour of selling off more fields and “jobs for the few”?
The retailers keep this town alive and afloat. Many of them sacrifice families time, money and holidays to keep businesses open.  And what a wonderful thing….. 30 shops, 10 tour operators, many excellent venues and a score of fascinating stories and characters.  We should be proud of Coober Pedy’s business community.
To make a general claim that outlets sell fake opal intentionally is slanderous.

A floundering mining association with no obvious membership, struggling for a political presence, already realises that it’s the retailers who finance the
majority of opal exploration and mining. This leaves a once proactive organisation an unaccountable and clicky, name only, incorporated boys club without a current purpose, which in desperation appears to have created a problem that it can be seen as trying to solve..
This long redundant feature in our midst has lost it’s last ounce of credibility. It’s current existence, viability and  actions need explaining to the serious stakeholders in the opal community who are well aware of this  association’s inability to sustain itself.

The genuie opal miners out on the fields create wealth for the town in buying opal, cutting, setting which snowballs into employment for families.
One could say that the opal retail sector have done and continue to do far more for opal mining and miners in real terms than the pathetic body called the opal miners association with its 5 and 5/8th members.
It seems that the members of the the so called miners association have large chunks of synthetic opal at their disposal.  How come?  By the evidence of the advertisers pictures.  “Oh, I just happened to have this in my pocket”!  Yeah, yeah.
To those mischievous townsfolk who continually put their foot in their mouth, you have shown your true colours.
Greek OPAL Miners and Retailers
Coober Pedy