The NSW Government will introduce a $10 million industry assistance package for mines in the Gunnedah and Western Coalfields.
“This $10 million assistance package will protect more than 2,000 direct jobs in the Western and Gunnedah coalfields from the global recession, which is affecting every industry and business in this country,” Minister for Mineral Resources Ian Macdonald said.
“The stimulus package will assist those exporting from the Gunnedah and Western Coalfields, and will assist with costs of getting product to port. Specifically $10 million will be spent each year for two years.”
According to MacDonald, the package will help the industry take advantage of export opportunities.
“Now more than ever, it is essential that we sustain our important mining industry which provides thousands of jobs to rural communities,” he said.
“Coal is our State’s top export in value terms, $8.2 billion in 07/08 – and the global economic recession is impacting on the viability of some regional coal mines.
Member for Bathurst Gerard Martin welcomed the package, which will benefit regional communities in Western NSW.
“This is a great package that will protect jobs in the Western coalfields including Lithgow and Ulan,” Martin said.
The scheme will be reviewed after two years to assess its effectiveness.