Copley Community

04 May 2021

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (16:37): It is my pleasure to rise on a very positive topic today. Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of being at Copley for the local community's celebration around the refurbishment and renovation of Copley Town Hall.

For people who may not have been to Copley, it is about 270 ks north of Adelaide, about six ks north of Leigh Creek and is a very important town in the Northern Flinders. Of course, it is closely connected with the town of Leigh Creek, but Copley is a terrific town on its own. Quite a wide range of people live in Copley: there are a lot of Aboriginal people, a lot of non-Aboriginal people, people who have grown up in the district, people who have come there from other parts of South Australia and indeed Australia and people who are connected to the pastoral industry.

There is a very strong art culture in Copley. There are some businesses there: a terrific caravan park, a terrific pub and a terrific bakery. The Copley Quandong Cafe is a place that people may well be familiar with. It used to be in a premise of its own but is now domiciled with the caravan park, and they do a fantastic job.

I have many friends in the town of Copley who live and work there, so it was a real pleasure to be there on Friday night celebrating with people. Not only townspeople but pastoralists, too, came in for this celebration. People from Leigh Creek and other places came in for this celebration as well.

The local progress association has led the redevelopment of this hall. They have been supported with state government funding and some funding from outback communities as well, which has made a big difference, but essentially the progress association has done the work. The president of the progress association, Mr Peter Banfield, and secretary of the progress association, Ms Theres Bertram, have led the project but many other people have supported them by doing the hands-on work.

We had a fantastic roast meal. I am sure she was well supported by others, but Ms Helen McLeod was the main person I saw in the kitchen absolutely nonstop while others came and went. I do not want to miss out giving credit to anyone else because I am sure there are others who deserve it. Helen put on a roast for about 80 people. Everybody was very well fed and there were delicious desserts as well.

There was a darts competition. There was a quiz night that was led by the quiz mistress—I think that is an appropriate thing to say—who was a woman named Pip who is a teacher at the Marree Aboriginal School. I apologise to Pip that I cannot remember her last name. It was a fantastic community achievement to get the hall renovated. It was a fantastic community night for everybody to come together, have a few drinks, have a few beers or soft drinks, whatever people preferred, tea, coffee, enjoy a roast and enjoy some tremendous camaraderie.

There are some things that still need to be done to the Copley Hall. One of the things that struck me as an opportunity to still contribute to is lighting outside under the new verandah and some lighting in the car park because that lighting is not there at the moment. I will certainly strive on behalf of the state government to see what we can do to try to help with that. There are new playgrounds and I think there is still coming—I do not think I saw it there—some outdoor exercise equipment.

This is a hall which is genuinely owned in the hearts of all people in Copley. It is used for celebrations, it is used for government meetings, drawing people together for public consultation. Sadly but necessarily, it is used for funerals from time to time. It is used for a wide range of things. As I said, when I had the opportunity to say a few words on Friday night when there were a few young kids running around who might have been five or six, wouldn't it be lovely if some of them got married in the Copley Hall in decades to come. It is a fantastic community, it was a fantastic event and it was a pleasure to be there with the community.