Premier’s visit to Hunter mining communities welcome

April 28, 2015

As unemployment in the Hunter continues to rise, the NSW Premier’s visit to Hunter mining projects has been welcomed by the industry, as it will give Mr Baird a better understanding of the need to support job-generating projects in the region.

“The Premier should be commended for coming to the Hunter today and visiting two critical mining projects - Anglo American’s Drayton South project and Rio Tinto Coal & Allied’s Mount Thorley Warkworth project.  The visit allows the Premier to meet some of the 1,800 hard working miners whose jobs are hanging in the balance, caught up in the NSW Planning System,”  NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.

“With unemployment in the Hunter at nearly 13 per cent, it’s critical that the NSW Government do everything it can to support job-generating projects in the region.”

Last year, the Premier made a line-in-the-sand commitment to fix the broken NSW planning system, halving the time it takes to assess key projects.

“NSW mining supports a full and fair assessment of all projects based on their merits; a system based on science, facts and evidence,” Mr Galilee said.  

“We understand that some issues generate a lot of emotion, demonstrated by the anxiety of the 1,800 workers of Drayton South and Mount Thorley Warkworth with jobs on the line.  All these workers and their families want is a fair go in the assessment process,” he said.

“As well as the direct jobs, there are also thousands of Hunter residents employed by local businesses that supply these projects, and they are also holding their breath hoping for a sensible decision on this project,” he said.

“Following the six week public exhibition period for the Mount Thorley Warkworth project, 1,891 submissions received or 85 per cent were supportive, ” Mr Galilee said.

“If the NSW Government wants to strengthen the Hunter economy, supporting vital mining projects like Drayton South and Mount Thorley Warkworth is essential.”

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

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