Broken Hill part of government study
Friday, 13th June, 2014
By Erica Visser
Broken Hill has been chosen as the subject of a state government study into how communities can combat the life cycle of mining.
City Council will work with the government as it does the “targeted study” into how mining-affected towns can cope with challenges.
The move comes just weeks after the city was finally recognised by the government as a “mining-affected community” under its Resources for Regions Programs.
Minister for Western NSW Kevin Humphries said yesterday that the study would occur alongside trials into boosting the social and economic benefits of mining in Broken Hill.
“The taskforce will undertake a specific and targeted study with Council that will look to inform both the government and other communities in Western NSW on how a community can prepare, and then transition, through the life-cycle of mining and resource development,” Mr Humphries said.
Council’s General Manager Therese Manns enthusiastically welcomes the announcement.
“This is fantastic news for Broken Hill. Council has worked very hard to push the city back onto the agenda in relation to mining-affected local government areas,” Ms Manns said.
“We have made the Resources for the Regions list and now, following recent discussions with the taskforce, we have been acknowledged as a community in transition that can both assist other mining-related communities in considering the impacts of the full mining life-cycle and, at the same time, gain state government assistance to develop opportunities for our own city to ensure economic diversification and positioning for future viability.”
Ms Manns said that the selection was “certainly recognition of the value of our discussions to date.”
Mr Humphries said that involvement in the trial would boost the city’s chances of getting more funding for mining-related projects.
Four shire councils will take part in the trial, but only Broken Hill was chosen for the study.
“(Councils) will identify the specific infrastructure required to both meet the demand of increased mining activity and contribute to job and economic growth in their area,” Mr Humphries said.
“Once projects are identified, the NSW government will provide assistance to these councils to develop a business case for these projects, which may then be prioritised for government funding under programs such as Resources for Regions.”
If the trial is a success, the program would be extended to other western NSW councils.