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Published: 10 Oct 2017
Hundreds of mining families in Lithgow have had their futures’ secured for the coming decade, following a breakthrough in the CFMEU Mining and Energy campaign to stop delays in the approval process for the extension of the Springvale Mine.
Jobs in the Mount Piper power plant have also been secured, meaning that over 1000 jobs have now been assured, South Western District President Andy Honeysett has said.
CFMEU Mining and Energy has spoken up for workers, warning the NSW Government for years about the dangers of delaying the approval for the extension of the mine that supplies the Mount Piper power plant.
Mr Honeysett said the local unemployment rate in Lithgow was above 10 per cent and the uncertainty over existing jobs had placed undue strain on the region.
“The Government has finally had the sense to create the legislation to approve the extension, which has means these jobs will be secured to 2028,’’ he said.
“We welcome the legislation that will enable the extension of the mine but the government has been very slow to act on this.
“It’s been a very tense wait for the people of Lithgow, not only for the mining and power workers and their families but for the rest of the community which relies on the continuation of local customers for their businesses.
“Regional communities rely on employment in key industries like mining and energy to provide income to other sectors like retail and hospitality. The decision to allow the extension of the mine comes as a relief for many people.”
Mr Honeysett said NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley’s attendance at a CFMEU Mining and Energy rally this week seemed to have given the NSW Government the final push it needed to make the announcement.
“We appreciate Luke Foley’s support but it is disappointing that this is what it takes for the NSW Government to act and make its own position clear.
“The Government should have been willing to communicate its position to the community, rather than wait for the extra political pressure to be applied by Mr Foley.”
Mr Honeysett said opposition from the Greens had been irresponsible.
“They are ignoring the reality of the state’s power supply,’’ he said.
“They refuse to recognise that coal is still a vital part of the mix for the future of NSW’s energy supply.
“The news of this legislation to enable the extension of the mine is good news for all of NSW.”
NSW Opposition Luke Foley addresses the rally