Welcome to the Opal Capital of the World


Coober Pedy is an opal mining town located in the harsh Outback of South Australia, some 850 kilometres north of Adelaide and 680 kilometres south of Alice Springs. Coober Pedy is recognised as the largest producer of opal in the world with an estimated 70% of the world's precious opal being mined in the opal fields of the area.

The Coober Pedy Precious Stones Field, from which the opal is mined, covers an area of 4,954 square kilometres of which it is estimated that approximately 10% of the total area has been worked.

Although opal had been discovered elsewhere in Australia around the late 1800's and early 1900's, it was first discovered in this area by Willie Hutchinson, aged 15 years, in February 1915.

Following this discovery settlement began and subsequently developed into the modern town of Coober Pedy. After World War 1, returning soldiers started to drift here and introduced the unusual and unique method of living underground in "dugouts", as many had done in the trenches of France.

Whilst living conditions were harsh with water and provisions being carted great distances, today the town water supply comes from an underground source 24 kilometres north of town. The water is pumped through an underground pipeline to the water works where it is treated by reverse osmosis. The quality is excellent and people should hold no fears about drinking it.

Today with a population of approximately 3,500, Coober Pedy has one of the most multicultural communities in Australia with an estimated 45 nationalities.

The Stuart Highway was completed in 1987 and now allows a comfortable yet lengthy drive through Central Australia. Coober Pedy is serviced daily by coach services and 6 days a week with Regional Express Airlines. Tourism and mining are the driving economic forces in the town.


Statement from CEO

31 August 2015

Regrettably, the District Council of Coober Pedy has received formal notification of the resignation of its Mayor Stephen Staines, effective as at 5pm on Thursday the 27thof August 2015.

In his letter of resignation, Mayor Staines indicated that the basis for his decision was as a result of time pressures and family commitments.
Council would like to thank Mayor Staines for his service over the last 9 months in his role as Mayor and prior to this as Councillor.
As a result of the Mayors resignation, the position of Mayor, and other vacancies from within the Elected Body, will be filled by way of a supplementary election, where a call for nominations will be made in the near future.
During this time, Deputy Mayor Michelle Provatidis will assume the responsibility of Mayor until such time that the supplementary election has run its course, with a new Mayor being elected.
Whilst it is regrettable to farewell any duly Elected Member, prior to the completion of his or her full term of office, the Mayors resignation must act as a reminder to all prospective nominees, as to the importance of the function of an Elected Member of Council, but also the personal demands and sacrifices that are required by incumbents, in order to meet community expectations and in fulfilling a position, be that of Mayor or Councillor. 
On behalf of Council, I wish Steve all the best for his future. 

Trent Rusby
Chief Executive Office
District Council of Coober Pedy
08 86724600


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