Leigh Creek, an oasis in the desert

Leigh Creek, an oasis in the desert tells the story of the thousands of men and women, Australians, Immigrants and Displaced Persons who have contributed to one of the most successful projects undertaken in the north of South Australia.


Early accomodation.


Open-cut mine.

Together they have overcome a myriad of problems which varied from a lack of interest, isolation, loneliness, distance, lack of water, lack of customers, lack of transport and high transport cost, climate, poor quality of coal, lack of equipment or unsuitable second hand equipment.

Later there was the need to increase production at a time when every available resource was stretched to the limit as a result of the shifting of mining operations and the building of a new town. Finally there were the talks of closing the mine as a result of water shortages, health reasons and even political and economic reasons. However Leigh Creek has survived them all and prospered to become an oasis in the desert.

The development of the coalfield and the town are examples of what can be achieved with vision, political skill, determination and persistence. Despite the many adverse conditions during these years of growth, expansion and contraction, Leigh Creek has grown into a thriving community with modern facilities and makes a substantial contribution to the state’s economy and the standard of living of all South Australians.

Where there used to be a relatively unattractive dusty gibber plain, there is now Leigh Creek, an oasis in the desert. This book is a must for all who have been part of this success story, for all who have lived and worked in Leigh Creek but also for those who have never been there. For these people it is an important book which relates vividly what has been happening in the north of South Australia during the last 120 years.

Leigh Creek, an oasis in the desert, is a hard-covered book of 640 pages, with 245 pages of photographs and documents. It has a comprehensive bibliography, index and a chronology of the period.

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