The Mudgee Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the approval of the Wilpinjong Extension Project for employment and the expected flow on benefits.
Chamber president Greg Dowker said they welcome the decision and “it’s fantastic, it can only help the area grow”.
“It brings people to Mudgee and when people come to visit them it’s good for tourism, it’s good for housing with the likes of the Caerleon estate, and it’s good for the development of the industrial area,” he said.
“And with employment it keeps young people in town, which is vital for any town, through apprenticeships and it’s not only through the mine – there’ll be more apprenticeships in areas such as building and housing.
“It helps because our town is so diversified – with coal mining, tourism, the wine industry, agriculture – it benefits all.
“It all helps with growth, it’s the same as if the wine industry has a bumper vintage and that brings more people to the area.”
Parent company Peabody claimed at the time of the announcement that the project will extend the life of the Wilpinjong mine by seven years to 2033.
Securing the ongoing employment of the current workforce of 400 and creating up to another 75 operational jobs, and securing the supply of high quality coal to domestic and export customers.
At the PAC hearing in Mudgee on April 12, the Chamber spoke in favour of the project on the basis of employment.
In their submission, Chamber vice-president Andrew Palmer, also spoke about the importance on the region having a range of industries.
“We can’t continue to grow and prosper without diversity of industry,” he said.
“Agriculture and tourism play their part but mining has been the key contributor to the growth of the Mudgee region.”