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Mining industry celebrates Knights’ victory, job rises in Hunter


It’s been a very fruitful 48 hours for NSW’s largest coal mining region, the Hunter.

Buoyed by the highly-successful Voice for Mining Family Day at McDonald Jones Stadium at the weekend, where a sellout crowd attended the Newcastle Knights’ annual hi-vis clash, the NSW Minerals Council is also celebrating a massive rise in job numbers throughout the state.

According to the latest data from Coal Services Pty Ltd, there were 24,984 people working in the sector in NSW to June 2023, the highest result since June 2012.

Of that total, the Hunter itself employed 14,584 workers.

That figure is the second-highest number of coal mining jobs in the region since June 2014.

In Gunnedah, the data shows there were 3,134 positions in June 2023, only a slight drop from the all-time record set in April 2023 of 3,253.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the increase in jobs was a sign of the ongoing importance and resilience of the NSW coal sector.

“The growth shows that the NSW coal mining industry remains critical to regional communities and the state economy, and also highlights the need to ensure mining communities are supported,” he explained.

“The strong contribution of the coal sector reflects overall growth across the entire mining industry in NSW, including in metals mining. 

“Metals mining jobs are also at near record levels with nearly 8,000 people working in the sector based on the latest annual NSW Mining Industry Expenditure Impact Survey.

“These occupations help support regional communities… and are also making a very important economic contribution to the NSW economy.

“The demand for our metals, critical minerals and high-quality coal is expected to grow over the next decade, too.

“With the right policy settings, we can ensure mining investment and jobs are locked in for the future.”

The data also highlighted there were more than 300 more coal mining jobs in the Western region of NSW than a year ago at 3,534, and the number in the Southern region improved over the past financial year, recording the second-highest tally for the period of 3,397.

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