Cumnock No. 1 Colliery
The Hon. TONY KELLY: My question is directed to the Minister for Mineral Resources. What is being done to help Cumnock No. 1 Colliery to extract resources for the benefit of the community in the Hunter region?
The Hon. EDDIE OBEID: I commend my colleague the Hon. Tony Kelly convener of Country Labor, for his continued interest in the coal industry in the Hunter region. The Carr Government continues to support our coal industry. I am pleased to advise the House that the Government has approved an extension to another Hunter mine—the Cumnock No. 1 Colliery. The lease, which covers 165 hectares, means the company can proceed with an extension to its current operations. The lease means the company can maximise extraction of coal with both open cut and underground operations. I am advised that due to the lease, the mine will continue to inject up to $10 million a year into the local economy. That is good news for communities in Singleton and the Upper Hunter.
The lease means the company can maintain current levels of production of between 2 and 2.5 million tonnes of coal a year. It is expected that the company will spend $2.5 million in developing the new mine. When fully operational, I am advised that 42 people will be employed at the open cut site. Twenty of those workers would formerly have worked in the underground operations. Cumnock No. 1 Colliery first began operating more than a decade ago, close to the old Liddell State Coal mine, which dates back half a century. The new lease means operations can continue on this site for at least another five years. That is good news for the security of families in the Hunter region.