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13 September 2001

Opal Mining Matters from the Glengarry, Grawin, Sheepyard Miners Association Inc

Hi to all our present and future members. It has been some time since I have written for the papers but it has been a very busy time in the background with nothing interesting to write abut but it now seems it's all happening at once with many projects that have been in the planning stage all coming to fruitition at the same time.

The first news is that the TV repeater station is now in the final stages with the contractor organised and the paperwork is past all but the final stage, which is the signing of the grant papers by the Minister for Communications. The papers are in his office as I write and when he has signed them it will be only a short time (one to three weeks) before the funds are available to us. The project will see the broadcasting of four TV stations from a base at Glengarry where the signal will be received by satellite dish, decoded and then rebroadcast from a 20Mts+ high tower and will cover a wide area with most people only needing a ordinary UHF antenna although some far out camps such as Carters and Cumborah may need High Gain antennas.

The four stations will be ABC on new channel UHF 67, SBS on new channel UHF61, 7 Central on new channel UHF 64 and Imparja on new channel UHF 58. There is a very good chance that this system will be in operation by the end of this year unless anything beyond our control from outside sources causes a delay.

The TV unit will be housed in our new office complex which is now underway after a lot of planning. This is situated on the corner of our Sheepyard paddock across from the SES shed and will include a workshop/shed to house our grader and loader and provide a suitable place to do proper maintenance on our machinery as well as protect it from the weather. This building should almost be complete by the time you read this and the new office building will be close on its heels as the base is already down and the materials are to be priced and obtained.

I have put drawings on the notice boards around the fields so you can see what it will look like and the facilities it will have. When complete we will be providing some of the services that you have to go to town for at present and some that you cannot get even in the Ridge and I will be letting you know what these are as the office gets closer to completion.

There has been some talk in the last few weeks about membership of miners associations and the ability to talk with a louder voice and I agree that ALL persons that are engaged in the Opal Industry should be a member and I am very pleased to be able to say the membership of the Glengarry, Grawin, Sheepyard miners Association Inc has had a steady growth for the last three years and the number of members is already up this year even though it is only 7 weeks into the new membership year for 2001-2002 but I would still urge ALL to join so we may continue to grow and try to get the best deal for small and large miners alike.

Our association has a lot to offer besides dealing with the MRD on your behalf we also have our own equipment which includes a grader, a front end loader, a Registered Tip Truck, a flat back Crane truck and a Water Fire truck as well as many other sundry items such as Photo copiers and computers, all of which help us get more value for your money in the tasks that we do, such as roads and domestic rubbish disposal and most of this equipment is available for hire at a very reasonable rate. With the advent of the new office complex the range of things we offer will increase. Membership fees are only $20pa and you may have a 1 year or 5 year membership.

Application forms can be filled in at the Sheepyard Inn, The Club in the Scrub, The Glengarry Hilton and Grawin Miners Supplies so join up now and help us to help you and ensure a better future for this great and unique industry. One of the new services we will be offering in the new year will be an Advisory Service like the one in the Ridge and I already have some interested persons going into the one at the Ridge to sit in and learn how it all works. This group, while operating out of the facilities provided by this association, will be an independent group who will not be under the committees influence with regard to how they run the Service. We still need a lot of people to learn and take part so if you are interested in joining please contact me with your name and address and phone number so I can make up a roster for those wishing to learn as we can only send 3 or 4 at a time.

Three and a half years ago we did the impossible and brought the Sheepyard paddock with money raised not from the banks but with money raised from our own members and have now repaid all monies and have an income from this investment which is helping pay for the office this year and will be there for more projects in future years. Some people said we could not do it but we did and now we are going to do it again.

A lot of you will have heard we are in the throws of buying the paddock that is known as the Wee Warra rush, which is 500 acres in size and adjoins our other property along most of one side. If anyone wants to invest at a very good interest rate please contact myself or Pat Ellis for details but be quick as it is filling up fast.

Well I must stop now as I don't know if this will fit in our allotted space in the papers and I must save some news for next time.

May you all find the opal you want and don't forget to join up now.

Tony Evans Secretary (68293831) not after 7p.m. please.
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