Support for coal mining in the Hunter

New research of community attitudes to mining across the Singleton Local Government Area shows the majority of participants support mining.

The research, commissioned by the NSW Minerals Council, found that 81 per cent of respondents believe jobs should be given ‘high’ or ‘highest’ priority when decisions about whether major projects like mines should be approved, with 64 per cent saying jobs should be the ‘highest’ priority.

Of the people who took part in the survey, 67 per cent are in support of Rio Tinto’s Mount Thorley Warkworth mine gaining approval.

The research also showed that nearly 87 per cent of people believed mining was ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for the Singleton economy.

“These are very strong results in support of jobs and the local mining industry,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said.

“Support for Rio’s Mount Thorley Warkworth mine near Singleton is also very strong, indicating a high level of community understanding of the importance of the project for the local economy.

“There has been a lot of support for this project and through the Voice for Mining network, we’ve seen nearly 2,000 submissions made to the independent planning authority to have the project approved.”

The Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) is holding a public meeting in Singleton on June 30 and July 1 after the Department of Planning recommended the Mount Thorley Warkworth mine expansion be approved.

PAC received over 2000 written submissions regarding the project, with Mount Thorley Warkworth’s general manager of operations, Mark Rodgers, stating a large number of those were in support of the expansion, ABC reported. 

"We're very happy to receive again around 2,000 submissions positively supporting the continuation,” Rodgers said.

"I'd like to thank everybody who took the time to do that.

"There's 1,300 people's jobs at stake here.

"It's been a five year process, to see this kind of support from the community is really reinforcing the fact that the project should go ahead."