Newcastle receives $17m mine subsidence fund

NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance has announced a new fund aimed at increasing development potential in Newcastle.

The new subsidence fund will be given to investors in one off grants and they will use it to fill mine shafts that lie below the city.

It is hoped the fund will encourage investors to build more infrastructure.

“We are very, very pleased to be announcing $17 million to stabilise the foundations for developments here, and see Newcastle’s potential unleashed,’’ Constance said.

‘‘This is money that is going to go directly in into the ground.”

Liberal state candidate for Newcastle Karen Howard said the fund would help to create more office space, Newcastle Herald reported.

‘‘It’s not only the private sector that benefits from this,’’ Howard said. 

 ‘‘Our city benefits from more people coming to live in it and taking up office space.”

The Hunter Development Corporation and the Mine Subsidence Board will handle all applications.

Greens candidate Michael Osborne said the fund was an “election thought bubble” stating that at least $50 million would be required to fix mine shaft issues.

The issues surrounding mine subsidence in the Newcastle area were highlighted last year when a sinkhole opened up at Swansea Heads, coming close to swallowing a three-storey home.

The front corner of the brick house collapsed after a 15 metre wide and 10 metre deep sinkhole opened up beneath the home.

A second sinkhole appeared hours later in the front garden of a house two doors down measuring about two metres across.

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