Drayton Project - Compromise needed to protect jobs

April 09, 2014

It is important that a compromise is reached to protect those working in all industries operating in the Upper Hunter, including the 500 miners at Drayton, according to the NSW Minerals Council.

"This should not be zero sum choice. We should be working together to find a compromise that saves the jobs of the 500 Drayton miners, as well as those in other local industries," CEO Stephen Galilee said today.

"The Drayton South Project is not a new mine. It is the extension of an existing mine that has been operating for decades. The proposed extension is on land owned by the mine. The application for the mine extension has been in the planning system for over four years and many changes have been made to the application in response to concerns raised by others.”

"These changes have been made in an attempt to reach a compromise, and following much discussion and negotiation. Unfortunately the local horse studs seem to have now decided no compromise is possible.”

“Instead of working together to protect jobs in all industries, a decision seems to have been taken to adopt an 'all or nothing approach' to shut mining down in the Hunter. This ignores the history of the Hunter, and the reality of the Hunter economy where 12,000 mining workers live," Mr Galilee said.

"Thoroughbred breeding and mining have much in common. Both provide important jobs for local people. Both have some level of foreign ownership, and both have impacts that can be controversial, whether it be the social impacts of gambling or the environmental impacts of mining."

"These two industries are important and so are the jobs they provide, so let's find a compromise where everyone gives a little for the sake of the hundreds of local people whose jobs are on the line."

Contact: Chris Rath | crath@nswmining.com.au | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419

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