Bengalla extension protects local Hunter jobs

March 04, 2015

Hundreds of local jobs in the Upper Hunter have been protected as the Planning Assessment Commission today approved the continuation of mining at Coal & Allied’s Bengalla mine, located west of Muswellbrook. 
“Today, the 400 mining workers and their families at the Bengalla operations have been given a more a certain future,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.  
“This is also good news for local businesses that rely on mining operations like Bengalla, a project which last year spent around $130 million with over 350 businesses in NSW, with two thirds of that stimulus spent locally in the Hunter Valley,” Mr Galilee said. 
Bengalla has been part of the Muswellbrook community for more than 16 years and has developed strong partnerships with local community groups, including a donation of more than $270,000 in 2014.
“Mining is very much a community-based industry in the Hunter, and most miners and their families live in the local communities near where they work,” Mr Galilee said. 
“NSW has some of the most rigorous environmental standards in the world, and this project has been thoroughly assessed and approved. It’s good news for the region and good news for mining families," Mr Galilee said.     
However, in the past six years, assessment time frames for major mining projects in NSW have doubled – from an average of 500 days to more than 1000 days.
“The NSW Premier’s recent commitment to halve planning assessment timeframes for major mining projects, without relaxing existing stringent environmental standards, will help attract investment and create jobs in our state,” Mr Galilee said.
“If we are to keep rebuilding the NSW economy, Government support for vital mining operations like Bengalla is essential.”
Contact: Chris Rath | | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419

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