Gulgong joins Singleton; objects mining camp

Gulgong residents on the western edge of Hunter Valley have opposed proposals by The Mac Group to erect a 400-bed temporary worker facility in the town.

They join Singleton residents who have also been fighting against a FIFO mining camp on the town’s outer edge.

The ABC reported the Land and Environment Court will pass a verdict on the issue later this month, after the plan was rebuffed by the Central West Joint Regional Planning Panel.

Mac Services Group launched an appeal against the decision to reject Gulgong miners' camp in the LEC last year.

The $26 million temporary workers accommodation proposal was overturned by the Western Region Joint Regional Planning Panel in October.

The Mac Group’s proposal for a 1,500-room facility at Singleton will be presented to the Hunter Joint Regional Planning Panel shortly.

Australian Mining recently reported the mineworker's camp in Singleton will only go ahead if new mine developments and expansions come online.

The $101 million plan to build the temporary accommodation in the Hunter could be stalled in the wake of a recent court decision which repealed Rio Tinto's Warkworth mine expansion plans. Huge job losses in the area and many Hunter mines going up for sale could also impede the company's plans.

Politicians, union representatives and Upper Hunter mayors met in early May to consult on the proposal, and a residents' meeting was also scheduled later that day.

Gulgong’s camp would be next to local Paul Kreuzen’s home. He said the two communities should join together in making it clear to the government the FIFO camps are unwanted.

“These were designed for the places where there are no towns. We’re going completely the wrong direction in Australia to address this.

“It’s not against the miners, it’s against the processes that are being put in play for them and they are being forced to go into these FIFO situations.”

Kreuzen said the communities can related to each other on a lot of issues.

“We are actually the first two towns that are actually trying to stop it before it happens rather than trying to get rid of it afterwards,” he said.

“It is virtually up to the government to do something because the voice, the democratic process is not working at the moment.”

A spokesman for the Mac Group said the company supports communities while creating jobs and investment.

A company statement said it is forging ahead with the camps as part of its planning for demand in the future.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.