The NSW Government is holding a Community Cabinet on Monday in Lithgow - a modern mining town that overwhelmingly supports the industry and understands the importance of a strong local mining sector.
Over 880 mining workers and their families live within the Lithgow Council boundaries, and 58 Lithgow-based businesses are part of the mining supply chain, sharing in over $220 million in local mining spending.
Lithgow is in the state electorate of Bathurst, and mining is a big part of the local economy, with at least 1,650 miners living in the electorate, and the region’s mines spending $400 million with 190 local business in the electorate last financial year.
In the Central West region, total direct expenditure by mining companies accounted for over $1 billion over the same period, equivalent to 18.9% of Gross Regional Product.
With a state election due in 12 months, NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said today that mining votes would matter in Lithgow, the electorate of Bathurst, and across the Central West region.
“It is great to see that the Premier and his ministers are visiting Lithgow, a town with a long and proud association with mining and where local miners are an important part of the community,” he said.
“The local mining industry has been doing it tough over the last 12 months, including job losses. It’s a good opportunity for the Lithgow community to let the Premier and his ministers know how tough it has been.
“We know from opinion poll research conducted last year by ReachTEL that 79 per cent of people in Lithgow either support or strongly support mining, and 66 per cent of local people in Lithgow would be more likely to vote for political candidates that support mining, so mining issues matter to people in Lithgow.
“With mining so important to the local community, we’ll be ensuring those in our industry and in related businesses are fully informed of the policies of the parties and candidates towards mining before they cast their vote at the next state election.
“Member for Bathurst Paul Toole is a longstanding supporter of mining. He understands the contribution mining makes to the local economy, and how important mining is to the region.
“We’re urging all political parties and Members of Parliament to follow Paul Toole’s example, get behind local mining jobs and support the region’s miners in the lead up to the election.”
Chris Rath | firstname.lastname@example.org
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