The NSW Minerals Council says the reported “rewriting” of Coalition election policies by the mining industry is inaccurate and does not reflect their continuous and ongoing work with the farmers association and the Opposition.
Scott Keenan from the NSW Minerals Council says the report on the Sydney Morning Herald’s website was misinformed.
“The story is wrong,” he said.
“I don’t think they understood we have been in a room more than 50 times with the NSW Coalition and the farmers federation to discuss these matters.
We’ve sat side by side with the farmers association to discuss the policy and given advice and feedback on countless versions of draft documents.”
He says the story failed to take this into account and used only one version of the document to get information.
“The journalist’ documents in this regard were simply a snapshot of a moment in time of a process that had been running more than 12 months,” Keenan said.
Minerals Council chief executive Nikki Williams today re-stated their support for strategic land use plans to minimise conflicts between land users, industries and the community.
“The NSW minerals industry has always been a vigorous advocate of strategic land use planning to provide more clarity and direction for all industries,” Williams said.
“We have supported the current Government’s plan to develop a coal mining strategy and have taken part in a consultation process with the Opposition to help find solutions to this important issue.”
She says the story is misleading.
“The inaccuracies in the story have resulted in both the process and our position being misrepresented,” Williams said.
“The NSW Minerals Council and the NSW Farmers Association have been working side-by-side, at the request of the Coalition, to provide advice on the Opposition’s strategic land use planning policy.
“As the body representing the State’s minerals industry, which directly employs more than 35,000 people, it is wholly appropriate that the NSW Minerals Council is consulted alongside other stakeholders including the NSW Farmers Association.
She says while their involvement is appropriate it does not mean they will have the final say on any government policy.
“It is up to our political leaders to get the balance right in the development of the State, in the interests of everyone in the community. The final policy is a matter for the Coalition.”
The Council denies any suggestions the policy was written by them.
“It’s important to know the premise of the story, that we’re writing policy, is not correct” Keenan said.