From the ABC
Coal industry promises to consult with mining communities
Posted Tue May 24, 2011 6:40am AEST
The Minerals Council says the mining industry wants to engage more with the community over concerns about dust and air quality. (ABC Local : Jill Emberson )
The New South Wales Minerals Council says a scathing community survey was a 'wake-up call' and it has begun talks with Upper Hunter residents in a bid to improve its relationship with locals.
The Mineral Council's Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue hosted an information meeting at Singleton overnight in order to better develop solutions to the community's concerns.
The independent survey rates the region's coal industry poorly, citing dust, air quality and the need for mine site rehabilitation as community concerns.
The Council's Deputy CEO, Sue-Ern Tan says the industry wants to address the issues.
"I think they were concerns that we knew we in the community but it was really getting them in black and white I guess was a bit of the wake-up call for us," she said.
"I think what it showed though was there was an interest in the community to keep talking and try to all work together to find a path forward for the broader Hunter community.
"That's not going to be easy but I think the best way to do it is by continuing that conversation."
Ms Tan says the Minerals Council is committed to significantly boosting its consultation with Upper Hunter mining communities.
She says the scathing survey also highlighted concern over pressure on community services and infrastructure.
Ms Tan says the whole industry wants to engage more with the community.
"Each individual company does it about their individual projects and does it actually quite well, but this is a broader problem," she said.
"This is the cumulative impacts of the whole industry in the Upper Hunter and while people might say, talk is cheap, it's not.
"You've got to start talking.
"There was a feeling of, where do we go to now?
"How do we try and find a way forward to ensure the Hunter has a strong and viable future?"
Here's the thing, we've heard it all before, we've heard the assurances, we've heard the corporate spin and we just don't believe you any more and no ammount of additional community con is going to change that.
Want to gain a little more respect? Well here's a couple of suggestions to start, audit your operations against the claims made in your EIS, don't leave overburden heaps bare for 10 years, do proper rehab job and not just throw out fucking Rhodes Grass seed everywhere, if you've put an area aside for an "offset" don't go and mine the thing five years later, oh and stop playing us for fools.