MINING ROAD FUNDING REINSTATED FOR COOBER PEDY PRECIOUS STONES AREAS

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Roads that lead to mining claims on the precious stones fields at Coober Pedy will now be maintained after vital funding was reinstated this week

Member for Giles, Eddie Hughes, has secured a boost in funding for road maintenance for mining roads in Coober Pedy and surrounds. The $25,000 boost is a reinstatement of funding that was received up until around 2013. This brings the total allocation for road maintenance in and around the mining fields back up to $50,000.

Mr. Eddie Hughes said today, “A number of miners had expressed concern about the maintenance budget for local mining roads so I was more than happy to lobby on their behalf.  The money will go to the Coober Pedy Council and will be tied to mining road maintenance.”

“Vice President of the Coober Pedy Miners Association John Dunstan said, “I would like to thank Eddie Hughes for his attention to this matter. I am happy that we are getting the funding back to maintain the roads on the precious stones field, and I hope that this funding is put aside only for mining roads,” he said.

Eddie Hughes said, “My understanding is the money is for the opal field roads and not general road maintenance. The council will have to fully document what they have done with the money through the acquittal process with the department”.

“It is important that we develop and maintain Coober Pedy’s infrastructure and that is why we committed over $1.3 million towards upgrading the airport to ensure ongoing passenger services,” said Mr. Hughes.

“One of the most important commitments was increasing the electricity subsidy in order to bring Coober Pedy and other off grid communities closer to grid parity pricing.”

“Providing interim funding for the swimming pool was also essential.”

“The initiatives pursued all have worthwhile practical benefits for Coober Pedy.”

“I wish everyone a happy Christmas and look forward to visiting early in the New Year,” said Mr. Hughes.

Following on from the news this week that hobby vehicles will receive greatly reduced registration in South Australia, John Dunstan said, “The Miners Association is still pursuing the State Government to reduce the registration for mining vehicles and that includes drills”.

“Mining vehicles also have special circumstances. They do not travel to Adelaide, because they are fitted out with winches, but we are still paying full registration for them,” he said.  “These vehicles spend most of their time on the precious stones field, not the public highway”.

“My own mining ute is over $600 to register for 12 months and it doesn’t leave Coober Pedy. The majority of miners are in this same situation where they have a work vehicle and a family vehicle to pay registrations on,” Mr. Dunstan said.

“On behalf of the Miners Association I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and safe travelling”, concluded Mr. Dunstan.