As a proud former coal miner who worked in the sector for over two decades, Mr Drayton said he understands the importance of keeping and creating opportunities when a site reaches its end of life.
“I know exactly what it’s like to work on a mine and to feel that uncertainty about your future. Mine workers deserve secure jobs. This is about taking every opportunity we can to make sure mining workers are getting their fair,” Mr Drayton said.
“Coal mining is the backbone of the Upper Hunter community. I put my name forward in this race because I am passionate about growing those jobs and supporting the towns and communities that make this region great. This plan is about secure and good jobs,” Mr Drayton said.
Under Labor, the NSW Government would meet the cost of master planning mines or power generation sites prior to closure, if the site commits to maintaining or increasing the number of jobs.
This would allow valuable infrastructure and land to be repurposed for job creation when a mine reaches the end of its life.
Labor’s Shadow Minister for Natural Resources said there is no reason why the overall job numbers should decrease when sites close.
“There are a range of reuse options for mine sites once mining operations have ended. The sites also contain considerable existing infrastructure such as utility supplies, roads, buildings, hardstands and rail connections that may be able to be repurposed or reused,” Mr Scully said.
“Only Labor is will stand up for current mining jobs while creating more jobs as mine and power generation sites close.”
Under Labor’s “Rehabilitation for Job Creation’ plan, the NSW Government would provide for:
- The cost of developing a master plan for a mine site or coal fired power generation site, if requested by the site owner in advance of the end of mining or power generation, would be met by the NSW Government. The site master plan would be developed with the aim of at least maintaining the job intensity of the site;
- The site would be required to be returned to a condition that is considered safe, stable and non-polluting and any changes would need to specify the rehabilitation conditions and completion criteria;
- The master planning process would be undertaken by the NSW Government in conjunction with the site owner and the relevant Council, Councils or Joint Organisation and involve community engagement. The cost of a master planning process would vary depending on the size and complexity of the site under assessment;
- The master plan could provide for the repurposing or reuse of site infrastructure and incorporate areas for environmental sustainability, biodiversity and habitat renewal;
- An agreed master plan for the site would amend the rehabilitation conditions and provide for the return of the security deposit and relinquishment of the mining licence
- A master planned site would still be required to seek relevant planning approvals for future use of the site;
- The proponent would still be required to meet the cost of rehabilitation.