COOBER PEDY News & Events


Letter to Premier Mike Rann from Yanni Athanasiadis of Umoona Opal Mine & Museum Coober Pedy re: discriminatory $1.3million electricity tax on remote South Australian communities

Mr Rann,
My name is Yanni Athanasiadis and I have been a resident of Coober Pedy for 38 years and during that time, my primary business in Coober Pedy has been the ‘Umoona Opal Mine and Museum.

For the last financial year end June 30 2010, my electricity bill was $30,366, with the cut of the electricity subsidy for our town and the other 12 small towns and communities, my electricity bill will increase to $52,000. 

No small business can absorb this fixed cost increase.  There will be businesses in Coober Pedy that will have an increase of up to 123% in their electricity bill.

Mr Rann, you have visited Coober Pedy a few times and are very much aware that our town depends on the tourism and we are trying to build a service for the larger mining sector that is booming around us. 

No one will even think of opening a new business at the moment based on what existing businesses will incur.

The whole town at the moment is talking about this issue.  No one can believe that the SA Government could do this to an iconic town for $1.3m. 

The only logical reason for such a decision is that your government does not want communities in the outback. 

To add salt to injury, there was no discussion of this huge and unfair increase to the electricity tariffs. 

We were informed of the increase in early March 2011, effective from the 1 April 2011.  The treatment towards the communities of outback SA is nothing short of contemptuous.

It is beyond belief that Minister O’Brien on ABC radio could say that Adelaide people should not have to subsidise electricity costs for outback SA. 

We are tax payers in SA and contribute towards infrastructure in Adelaide such as trams, stadiums, roads and other services that we will never see in the outback. 

Minister O’Brien states he was a small business owner and if so, he is well aware that this increase is unsustainable.

Mr Rann, we would like to be treated like everyone else in the state – give us an alternative.  We do not have a choice from whom we buy our electricity.  We need the subsidy.
Kind Regards,
Yanni Athanasiadis
Umoona Opal Mine & Museum
P.O. Box 372
Ph:     08 86725288
Fax:    08 86725731