Latest economic data shows importance of mining to the Illawarra
The NSW Minerals Council’s latest annual member Expenditure Survey has found that in the last financial year the 28 participating NSW mining companies directly injected $847 million into the Illawarra economy, supporting over 1,800 Illawarra mining jobs and 510 local mining supplier businesses.
“These survey results show that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, mining’s contribution to the Illawarra economy last year remained strong. While direct mining jobs in the Illawarra fell slightly due to the impact of COVID-19, direct mining spending increased and there was also an increase in the number of Illawarra businesses in the local mining supply chain,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.
While the 1,800 Illawarra mining jobs supported by our member companies was around 300 lower than the previous year, the $847 million in direct spending in the Illawarra in the last financial year represented an increase of around $20 million compared to the previous year.
In addition, the 510 Illawarra mining supplier businesses supported in the 2019-20 financial year represented an increase of 42 businesses compared to the previous year.
This $847m in direct mining spending in the Illawarra is estimated to have contributed 9.6 percent of the Gross Regional Product of the Illawarra region economy in 2019-20. This is a significant contribution by any measure, down only slightly from the 9.8% mining contribution in previous year.
“Our member companies spent nearly $850 million in the Illawarra last year, including during the pandemic, supporting 1800 local mining jobs and more than 500 local Illawarra businesses. This provided an important economic boost for the Illawarra region during tough times while maintaining the safety of our miners, their families and local communities.”
These results also show what is at risk if important opportunities like the Dendrobium Expansion Project are lost to the Illawarra.
“The recent refusal of the Dendrobium Project by the Independent Planning Commission will cost NSW nearly a billion dollars in direct investment and 700 direct local jobs at the mine. It also puts thousands more jobs at risk across the Illawarra region, including local contractors and suppliers, as well as thousands of jobs at the BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks dependent on the supply of local coal.”
“Instead of refusing to even meet with the project proponents, the NSW Government must show some leadership on this issue to protect the Illawarra economy and the thousands of jobs at risk.”