Compromise must be found to save Hunter jobs

September 15, 2014

The NSW Minerals Council has called for a compromise between horse breeders and local miners in the Hunter to save hundreds of jobs in both industries.

“It’s a shame that global racing identities have to weigh in from overseas against the jobs of battling Hunter Valley miners and that the local thoroughbred breeders aren’t able to help find a workable compromise,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.

“It’s a shame because it doesn’t have to be like this.  This should not be zero sum choice. These two Hunter industries should be working together to find a compromise that saves the jobs of the 500 Drayton miners and in other local industries," Mr Galilee said.

"The Drayton mine has been operating for decades. The proposed extension is on land owned by the mine. The application for the mine extension has been in the planning system for over four years and many changes have been made to the application in response to concerns raised by others.”

"These changes have been made in an attempt to reach a compromise, and following much discussion and negotiation. Unfortunately two large horse studs have decided no compromise is possible.”

“This 'all or nothing approach' to shut mining down in the Hunter ignores the history and the reality of the Hunter economy where 12,000 mining workers live," Mr Galilee said.

"Thoroughbred breeding and mining have much in common. Both provide important jobs for local people. Both have some level of foreign ownership, and both have impacts that can be controversial, whether it be the social impacts of gambling or the environmental impacts of mining."

"These two industries are important and so are the jobs they provide, so let's find a compromise where everyone gives a little for the sake of the hundreds of local people whose jobs are on the line."

Contact: Chris Rath | crath@nswmining.com.au | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419

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