Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia, 846 kilometres north of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway.
Desert Climate. Between April and October the weather is very pleasant. Typical of a semi desert climate, the days (16 to 20° C) are mild to warm but the desert nights are cold. From November to March the weather warms up and summer temperatures can range from 35° C to the 45° C in the shade, with occasional dust storms. The annual rainfall in the area is minimal at around 175 mm (5 inches) per annum and can fall during any time of the year.
Coober Pedy has a very culturally and linguistically diverse population for its size with over
45 different ethnic groups. At the 2006 ABS Census its population was 1916. The Mayor of
Coober Pedy challenges this figure. He believes that there are over 3500 people living in the town. The Post Office has a register of over 4000 people who live in and about Coober Pedy.
The official ABS statistics are also disputed by the community.
This creates problems because as the figures are not a true indication of those who live in
Coober Pedy, Agencies (who are funded on the basis of official data) are receiving insufficient funding to provide an appropriate response to community need.
The 2006 Census data indicates that there were 784 people aged over 50 in Coober Pedy. Of these 280 were born in Australia and 504 stated they were born elsewhere.
40% of the residents aged 50 and over in Coober Pedy were born in predominantly non English speaking countries.
WHY PEOPLE COME TO THIS COMMUNITY
People come to live in Coober Pedy due to the Opal Mining Industry Most work when they feel like it and few keep 'regular hours'. They prefer their cash economy, hate taxes, licences and rates. Few legal contracts are made between the miners and opal buyers, their word or handshake is good enough. Maximum profit is not important and many see life, and mining as a