Drayton miners take fight for jobs direct to Premier O'Farrell

February 11, 2014

At a public meeting in Maitland, mine workers from Anglo American's Drayton coal mine near Muswellbrook have directly asked the NSW Premier what he will do to help secure their jobs.

The mine has been in operation for over three decades but is set to run out of coal reserves in 2015. The Drayton South project would extend the life of the mine, keep 500 Drayton workers in a job, and continue to provide work for 140 local businesses.

The project is now being considered by the NSW Government, but a recent Planning Assessment Commission report into the project has put the future of the mine workers at risk.

To show just how important the extension is, a group of 30 miners made the trip to Premier O'Farrell's Community Cabinet meeting in Maitland to fight for their jobs in person, where the new Minister for Energy & Resources Anthony Roberts acknowledged the industry’s contribution to the economy and local community.

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Dressed in high-vis, a Drayton mine worker asked what the government could do to help the hundreds of employees and families that would be so badly affected if the mine extension doesn't go ahead.

The NSW Premier handed the microphone to Planning Minister Brad Hazzard, who said that “there are some issues to do with the mine extension…[and] the government is making sure the process is done at arm's length. That's what planning is about, trying to strike that balance between competing interests."

While the mine workers were happy that they were able to make a statement, they were disappointed only one miner was allowed to ask a question of the ministers in attendance.

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Nonetheless, this opportunity to personally ask the Premier for support is a great contribution to their campaign to save their jobs. Over the past weeks, Drayton workers have penned an open letter to Premier O’Farrell, and they’ve taken to radio to have their voices heard.

You can join the hundreds who have already shown their support for these miners by sending a tweet, sharing an image or sending a letter to the Premier  at voiceformining.com.au.
 

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