Planning system fails Drayton workers through avoidable job losses

February 26, 2014

The announcement of job losses and redundancies at the Drayton mine near Muswellbrook in the Hunter demonstrates the human cost of the broken planning system in NSW.

“These job losses were entirely avoidable if NSW had a planning system that worked. Instead the project has been stuck in the NSW planning system for four years, and remains in limbo,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.

“Despite years of work on the planning application, and many warnings that the planning system needs to be fixed, we are seeing the human cost of inaction and policy failure.”

“It’s time that the NSW Government took a stand for jobs and approved this project to protect workers and give the best possible chance of restoring the jobs that are set to be lost.”

“The mining workers of Drayton, local suppliers and community groups have mounted a courageous fight. This fight will continue, with the full support of the NSW mining industry.”

“The project has been repeatedly amended and changed to accommodate the concerns of others, but some are clearly intent on killing off the project and the jobs of the 500 Drayton workers regardless of any changes that are made.”

“Coal mining has been happening in the Hunter region for over 200 years, and this project has operated in its current location for more than thirty years with little impact on its neighbours.”  

“The thoroughbred industry is important to the Hunter but the planning system should not make the helicopter views of wealthy horse-breeders a higher priority than local mining jobs.”

“In the last 18 months, there have been over 2,000 jobs lost in NSW mining.  Unless the NSW Parliament can work together to fix the planning system, valuable investment will head interstate or overseas and more jobs will be lost,” he said.

Contact: Chris Rath – crath@nswmining.com.au – 0409758734 – 02 9274 1419

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