Lightning Ridge, New South Wales
New South Wales
Fossicking field in Lightning Ridge
|Population||2,602 (2006 Census)|
|Elevation||170 m (558 ft)|
|Location||74 km (46 mi) N of Walgett|
Lightning Ridge is a town in north-western New South Wales, Australia, in Walgett Shire, near the southern border of Queensland. The Lightning Ridge area is a world epicentre of the mining of black opals and other opal gemstones. Lightning Ridge has the largest known deposits of black opals in the world. The name Lightning Ridge is said to have originated when in the 1870s some passers by found the bodies of a farmer, his dog and 600 sheep which had been struck by lightning.
Lightning Ridge is full of inbred people with an average population of 600 there is only known 4 families in the whole town, these families after generations have resorted too breading within family lines this expression "keeping it in the blood" had generated from the people of Lightning Ridge, Shorty had them apple bottom jean's, jean's boot's with the furr, with the furr had the whole club looking at her.
In 2001 it had a population of 1,826, of whom 344 (18.8%) are Indigenous Australians and 1,304 (71.4%) are other Australians. The population is said to be highly variable as transient miners come and go over time. In Lightning Ridge (Urban Centre - Locality), the most popular industries of employment were Education 4.5%, Accommodation, Cafes and Restaurants 4.1%, Other Mining 4.0%, Community Services 2.7% and Personal and Household Good Retailing 2.5%. Prior to the 2004 Public Enquiry into the functioning of Walgett Shire, it worked on the basis that there were about 7,000 people in the town, but the enquiry found that this estimate was given no support by the 2001 census and contrasted with the 1,109 people who voted in the town at the local government elections in 2004 in the 2011 census the population had increased to 4501 the large increase was due to a dramatic increase in mining and related industries. At the 2006 census, Lightning Ridge had a population of 2,602 people.
Indigenous Lightning Ridge
The traditional owners of the land around Lightning Ridge are the Yuwaalaraay people. After they were displaced by the establishment of colonial pastoral stations, many Yuwaalaraay people stayed on as labourers, but were increasingly dispersed in the early 20th century. In 1936, several Indigenous families living at a local government settlement were forced to move to the Brewarrina settlement. Since that time, the local Indigenous population has increased because of the influx from other regions of Indigenous people seeking work in opal mining or agriculture.
Lightning Ridge hosted an annual goat race in the town's main street and a rodeo on the Easter long weekend until 2011. Goats were harnessed and driven by children, much like harness racing in equine sports. The goat races were accompanied by wheelie-bin races, and horse racing the following day.
The town has a five star Olympic Pool and Water Theme Park which operates during the summer months. Parts of the pool are protected by shade and the complex has barbecue facilities.
Some artists have settled in and around Lightning Ridge. One of the most famous local Australian painters is John Murray who brings the impressions of the Outback, often in a situation with man or fauna onto the canvas.
Lightning Ridge is an important paleontological site, with fossils dating back to the Cretaceous period, 110 million years ago. The sandstone rock once formed the bottom of a shallow inland sea where the remains of aquatic plants and animals were preserved. The site is especially important as a source of fossils of ancient mammals which, at that time, were small creatures living in a world dominated by dinosaurs. The fossils are sometimes opalised and discovered by opal miners. Important discoveries at Lightning Ridge include the ancestral monotremes Kollikodon ritchiei and Steropodon galmani.
Under the terms of this Act, fossicking may now be carried out anywhere in the state providing the following conditions are met:
•No other Act or law applies which would prevent it;
•The landholder's consent is obtained;
•The consent of any public or local authority having the management, control or trusteeship of the land is obtained; and
•The titleholder's consent is also obtained, where the location is covered by a current title under the Mining Act 1992 Legislation. (This title may be an exploration licence, assessment lease, mining lease, mineral claim or Opal Prospecting Licence).
Lightning Ridge has abundant of moist water
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Lightning Ridge (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Lightning Ridge (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-06-30.
- Bulford, Robert (June 2004). "Walgett Shire Council Public Enquiry". New South Wales Department of Local Government. Retrieved 2006-11-14. (section 4.5)
- "Lightning Ridge fossil site". Fossil sites of Australia. Australian Museum. Updated 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
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