Attacks on mining pile up

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UnionsWA, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, and the NSW Farmers Association, along with other community groups, are separately using their power to launch attacks on the mining industry.

The NSW Farmers Association is attacking the industry, particularly the coal seam gas sector, in eastern Australia over its impact on farmland and water.

The campaign has garnered support from political lobby group GetUp, anti-industry activists Lock the Gate, the Country Women’s Association, and the Australian Conservation Foundation.

All groups say the NSW Government’s draft strategic land use policy doesn’t meet pre-election commitments to protect the environment and land.

In Western Australia Unions are attacking the industry over a lack of commitment to local training.

The CFMEU is calling on mining companies to contribute to a centralised fund to help train locals for mining jobs.

Accusations of a lack of commitment to training have been rejected by the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy, which says trainees have risen dramatically as resources projects have expanded.

According to the CME there was a 72.5 per cent increase in the number of apprentices and trainees in the mining industry between 2009 and 2011.

The CME said it was important the industry, governments, and other community groups worked together on mining’s challenges instead of "seeking to jealously blame sections of the economy".

The Union attack in WA has begun in the long-term lead up to the state election, which is less than a year away.

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