I was in Coober Pedy for three days at the end of January to listen to concerns from a cross section of residents. As a result of that visit I wrote to the Treasurer about the provision of essential services and the need to intervene. The position I put is that water treatment and supply be taken over by SA Water and electricity distribution and billing should be run by an organisation that carries out that work as part of its core business.
I am especially concerned about people on low incomes living in above ground houses in Coober Pedy’s climate and having their electricity cut off.
The future of the Coober Pedy Council will, in part be determined by the investigation that is being carried out by the Auditor General. Irrespective of the outcome of that investigation we need to act.
To expect a small council with a small rate base and a high level of debt to run and adequately invest in essential services that no other council operates in our state is asking too much.
I have been your local member for four years. In the lead up to the last election I secured a commitment to introduce grid parity pricing for electricity which we have delivered. It is clear that we need to independently review electricity provision in Coober Pedy. I will push for that review so that we can get an accurate picture of what is going on and move away from the mish-mash of claim and counter claim and finger pointing.
Over the coming two years electricity prices in South Australia are going to fall significantly and the residents of Coober Pedy deserve to benefit from that fall.
During my term we have reinstated funding for opal field road maintenance. When REX flights at the airport were at risk we picked up the $1.3 million cost of fixing the runway without any assistance from the Federal Liberal government despite aviation being a federal responsibility.
We have provide $353,000 for school maintenance and $20,000 for STEM career development. A lot more needs to be done to help improve the school. We ensure the pool remained open in the summer months. We have put money into improving tourism infrastructure and have responded to a range of other needs in the community.
There is a lot more to be done to assist Coober Pedy and after four years as your local State Member I hope I will have the opportunity to work with the Coober Pedy community to more effectively meet your needs.
Eddie Hughes, Labor for Giles