Modern amenities come slowly to the vast outback, to the tiny communities on the empty miles of the South Australian plain - such as here, in the opal mining centre of Coober Pedy.
WS TWO MEN ON STREET
MS MEN ON VERANDAH
CU KNEES TILT TO FACES
SIGN TILT DOWN TO STORE
MAN LOOKS AT PICK
LS MAN DIGGING
CU MAN'S FACE
EXT. PAN OVER CAMP
MAN TALKS TO DOOR
INT. PAN TO WOMAN
MAN ADDRESSES CROWD
CU OLD BEARDED MAN
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Background: Modern amenities come slowly to the vast outback, to the tiny communities on the empty miles of the South Australian plain - such as here, in the opal mining centre of Coober Pedy.
Here at the one store, a man can still buy all he wants - especially the mining gear, mainly gelignite, blind faith, and a pick.
Every year, Coober Pedy's population of 500 swells to 1,500 when, with the winter and in the comparative cool, old dossers and young dreamers plod hopefully after that one big strike. The regular townspeople live in houses gouged out of rock like this to escape the heat.
In the year-long temperatures up to the hundred mark, their wives make do. Little happens to change the routine of sand and diggings and mosquito-troubled sleep - except for today, when the town's first fully-equipped medical centre is being opened.
The Chief Secretary, Mr. McEwen, says the new centre will serve not only just the town, but all the people within a radious of a hundred miles.