News of heavy job losses in the Hunter’s coal mining industry is most concerning.
Driven by a dramatic reduction in coal prices, mining profits everywhere are under pressure.
Unfortunately we are about to get a taste of what the Hunter’s economy would be like without a strong coal mining industry. This is why the community needs to rally behind and support the industry.
It is not just the direct jobs – it’s also the manufacturers and support industries, the petrol stations, the sandwich shops, and many other businesses which rely on mining.
There are those who would have us withdraw from mining; I completely reject that view.
Yes, we must continue to insist on the highest environmental and safety standards and ensure that mining does not threaten sustainable industries like agriculture, viticulture and horse breeding.
But these sustainable industries have lived alongside mining for decades and I believe with the right regulatory environment they can continue to do so.