Coal Services Pty Ltd finds a record 2,420 work in the Gunnedah region's coal mines

ON THE RISE: A recent study by Coal Services Pty Ltd found more people within the Gunnedah region are working in the mining industry than ever before. Photo: File Photo
ON THE RISE: A recent study by Coal Services Pty Ltd found more people within the Gunnedah region are working in the mining industry than ever before. Photo: File Photo

There is currently more people employed by the mining industry in the Gunnedah region than ever before according to new figures released by Coal Services Pty Ltd.

The most recent figures show that as of February 2018 there was a record number of 2,420 people working in the Gunnedah region’s coal mines.

Along with the record numbers, the study also showed the extended growth of employment in the industry by showing in February 2018 there 136 more people with coal mining jobs than in December 2017 and 2,000 more people in local mining jobs than in February 2010.

NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephan Galilee said the high level of employment was a major economic boost for the region.

“This is great for the Gunnedah region as more local jobs means more money injected into the local economy,” Mr Galilee said.

“The steady increase in the number of people employed by the local mining industry over the last eight years has helped to strengthen and diversify the local economy.”

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The CEO said the amount of locally employed people would have a substantial affect on the broader region’s economy.

“It’s not just local miners and their families that benefit,” he said.

“The local mining industry supports many local businesses who are able to employ thousands more people in the area.”

“Our recent 2016/17 Expenditure Survey found that our member companies spent $106.3 million in the Gunnedah Local Government Area (LGA) alone, including $46.1 million in purchases with 164 local businesses.”

Mr Galilee said economic benefits for the region would continue to grow along with the industry within the region.

“These record coal mining jobs figures for Gunnedah show how the region continues to benefit from mining for jobs, investment and economic growth,” he said.

“Ensuring the right policy settings for mining will deliver more jobs and opportunity for the Gunnedah region into the future,” he said.”

Whitehaven Coal CEO and managing director Paul Flynn told The Namoi Valley Independent the company will be looking to continue employing local people in the future.

“As the single largest private sector employer in North West NSW, Whitehaven is proud of its contribution to generating jobs from Tamworth through to Werris Creek, Gunnedah, Boggabri and Narrabri,” Mr Flynn said

“Looking forward to the next decade, we’re committed to do more.

“This means adding to our existing local workforce of more than 1,500 men and women, 75 per cent of whom already live locally. 

“It means more training opportunities and employing a diverse workforce through our Aboriginal employment program, our apprenticeship program, and providing mentoring opportunities for women in the mining industry.

“Most importantly, it means ensuring incomes flow into the pockets of local families and businesses.”

Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey said the mining industry provided the community with a lot of confidence.

“Agriculture is still our biggest economic driver but there’s no question the extraction industry is right up there as well,” Cr Chaffey said.

“Simply put, it is a major influence on our economy and there’s no doubt there is significant confidence in our community due to lowering unemployment and higher demand for skilled professionals and trade.”