‘Urgent’ action needed to support important Hunter mining jobs

October 09, 2014

There are calls for more to be done to address job losses in the Hunter economy and to secure at least 1,800 existing mining jobs that are at risk and will be lost if two mining projects are not approved. 
It follows the announcement of 50 further job losses at Yancoal’s Abel Mine in the Hunter Valley. Yancoal’s General Manager of Investor Relations James Rickards said company management was offering support to employees made redundant and that the decision to reduce the staff so significantly was ­difficult.
“The redundancies were driven by the recognition that we need to restructure to ensure the economic viability of the mine,” Mr Rickards said.
“It is a difficult time for the industry and this is not a decision we have made lightly.
And the state opposition have made some encouraging comments this week, reinforcing the importance of mining jobs with Labour representative Tim Crakanthrop calling for the Government to take action to protect Hunter jobs.
“The latest job losses are devastating and they highlight the urgent need for a regional jobs summit.”
“When manufacturing and mining are strong, the Hunter economy is strong.” Mr Crakanthorp said.
The announcement that Jetstar flights are being cancelled in and out from Newcastle airport due to increased airport charges was also on their agenda. 
“We want more flights being added to Newcastle Airport – not flights being taken out,” Mr Crakanthorp added.
Despite these tough times, the industry awaits an eventual upturn and with positive news such as the recent approval to the mine extension at BHP Billiton’s Mt Arthur by four years to 2026 - allowing the extraction of an additional 128 million tonnes of coal and the creation and retention of hundreds of jobs - the industry remains hopeful.
And as we await decisions on Anglo American’s Drayton South and Rio Tinto’s Mount Thorley Warkworth which would secure 1300 important local jobs, the undeniable truth that coal mining is an important pillar of economic strength and stability for the Hunter means that we need your support for jobs more than ever. 
Help us to keep the industry strong and become a Voice for Mining at voiceformining.com.au.  

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