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Mining’s contribution to Upper Hunter increases

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The impact of the mining industry on the Upper Hunter is a major talking point heading into this weekend’s by-election.

And, it appears, the dialogue’s warranted.

New data released this week by the NSW Minerals Council reveals mining’s contribution to the region has continued to grow strongly over the past four years.

Since the 2016-17 financial year, the industry’s influence in the Upper Hunter increased significantly, with total spending by companies in the electorate rising from $1.4 billion in 2016/17 to $1.8 billion in 2020/21.

“This new data shows that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, mining’s contribution to the Upper Hunter has been growing with more jobs, more spending and more local businesses being supported,” NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said.

“That says enough in itself.

“The newly-released information also shows the number of jobs supported by the industry has increased markedly from mor than 4,640 four years ago to 7,320 last financial year.

“The number of local businesses supported by the mining sector in the Upper Hunter has risen by about 50% over the past four years, with companies in the region now supplied by almost 1,080 local businesses from within the electorate.  

“Local councils in the Upper Hunter – Muswellbrook Shire, Singleton and Upper Hunter Shire – have benefited from increased revenues from local mining companies, too.”

In 2016/17, the industry paid just over $13 million to local councils in the Upper Hunter.

This rose dramatically to $51 million in payments last financial year, an increase of almost 300%

The number of Upper Hunter community groups supported by mining increased as well – from in excess of 260 in 2016/17 to 400 last financial year. 

Over the same period, annual contributions from mining companies to local community groups rose from just over $2 million to $3 million.

“The overall improvement in mining’s contribution to the Upper Hunter provided by our member companies highlights the resilience of our industry during these tough times, keeping our mines operating while maintaining the safety of our miners, their families and our mining communities across the region,” Mr Galilee said.

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