Opinion: Hunter Voices raised in support of mining

July 09, 2014

Originally published in Coalface Magazine.

NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee

Miners and their families stood side-by-side with thousands of Knights fans at the second Voice for Mining Family Day to show their support for the Hunter’s mining workers.   Many of the 22,000 people attending the game wore hi-vis gear, turning Hunter Stadium into a sea of fluro orange and green.  In a special show of support, the Knights team wore a brand new jersey resembling a hi-vis orange mining shirt.  
 
The event was a great celebration of mining’s contribution to the development and growth of the Hunter.  And with hundreds of kids running around wearing over-sized hi-vis vests, it was also a reminder of the bright future mining has in the region.
 
It was also a reflection of the strong support mining has in the Hunter, and across NSW. The fact is, most people in the Hunter and across NSW understand the need for a strong mining sector.
 
The NSW Minerals Council recently commissioned a detailed research project on community attitudes to mining in NSW.  The research was conducted by respected public polling firm Crosby-Textor. It was the third survey we have conducted over the last three years.
 
This latest survey found that support for mining in NSW was at 70 per cent. This strong support has now been recorded at the same level for the last three years, 
 
The survey found that this consistently strong support stems from a widespread understanding of the importance of mining for the economy. 87 per cent of people surveyed believed a strong mining industry is important to regional NSW, and 88 per cent of people believed mining was essential to the state economy as a whole.  
 
Though the current tough times are set to continue for the short term, mining has seen tough times before in its 200 year history in the Hunter, and like before, we will get through it again.  
 
The Hunter has some of the best coal deposits in the world, good access to transport infrastructure, a world-class mining workforce and strong long term demand for Hunter coal from customers in some of the biggest economies in the world. 
 
Despite the short term challenges, the prospects for the Hunter mining industry are bright. 
 

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