GUNNEDAH Shire Council and Whitehaven Coal have settled upon a voluntary planning agreement (VPA) for the Vickery Extension Project.
Should the project be given the green light by the Independent Planning Commission (IPC), the agreement between the two parties would cause $7.5 million to flow into the shire.
The VPA includes an initial payment of $500,000 if the project is approved, followed by another payment of $500,000 once construction of the mine begins.
From there, annual payments will continue throughout the life of the project with regular contributions of more than $260,000 expected each year while the project is at peak production.
Whitehaven Coal CEO Paul Flynn said the funds would go towards a number of community projects and programs.
"Ensuring local communities are the key beneficiary of our presence is a bedrock principle of ours," Mr Flynn said.
"We like to hire locals, work with local businesses and support local community groups or charities whenever we can.
"We are proud of the contribution we are able to make to the local economy and want to continue to build on this into the future."
The council's general manager Eric Groth said it was pleasing to see the two parties settle on a VPA.
"Council welcomes the finalisation of negotiations around the project VPA, with council unanimously resolving its position on the agreement," Mr Groth said.
"The financial contribution being made by Whitehaven under the VPA will enable the funding of community projects in line with the council's integrated planning framework.
"Council recognises and appreciates that the financial contribution under the VPA is only one aspect of a multifaceted program of Whitehaven's support for the community of Gunnedah shire and the broader Gunnedah basin."
If approved, the project is expected to generate around 500 jobs during the construction phase, as well as 450 jobs during operations and contribute an estimated net economic benefit of $1.2 billion to the state's economy.
The IPC will host the final public hearings into the project on Thursday and Friday before making a decision on the project next month.
The hearings will be broadcast on the IPC's website www.ipcn.nsw.gov.au/livestream from 10am on Thursday.