Published: 27 Jan 2021
Miners at the Tahmoor Colliery have been left high and dry after their local state MP Nathaniel Smith launched a vocal campaign against a mine extension that would secure their jobs, while refusing to meet to discuss their concerns.
Miners first wrote to the member for Wollondilly on January 8th asking to meet regarding his opposition to an extension of the mine. Without the extension, all 400 coal miners at the site will lose their jobs in 18 months – a devastating blow to the local community.
"It’s 19 days and counting since local miners wrote to the Member for Wollondilly, and they still haven’t heard back from Mr Smith. Many of our Members at Tahmoor are his constituents and they deserve a proper explanation about his opposition to this project - and an opportunity to put their case face to face about the importance of their jobs," said CFMEU Mining and Energy South Western Vice President Bob Timbs.
"Instead of simply agreeing to meet our members, Mr Smith instead did a photo op outside the mine and handed out one or two letters about why he doesn’t support the project that would secure their jobs.
“This is not the way to engage with local coal miners. Despite this poor form, coal miners at Tahmoor want Mr Smith to know they are still keen to meet with him to explain why this project and their jobs matter to the local community.”
Since early January, 760 miners and locals have emailed Nathaniel Smith asking him to change his position but have heard nothing.
The extension of the Tahmoor coal mine is strongly opposed by property developers who want to profit from a residential subdivision in Bargo.
The Tahmoor mine produces premium coking coal used in high-grade steel products made at Port Kembla, Whyalla and on international markets and the proposed Tahmoor South extension would extend the mine’s life by a decade.