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Focus on energy

Friday, 8th December, 2017

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan (left) with Mount Isa Mayor Joyce McCulloch, Broken Hill Deputy Mayor Marion Brown and John Bowler, the mayor of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.  PICTURE: Supplied Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan (left) with Mount Isa Mayor Joyce McCulloch, Broken Hill Deputy Mayor Marion Brown and John Bowler, the mayor of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. PICTURE: Supplied

By Andrew Robertson

The impact that spiralling energy costs were having on mining companies is one of the first issues an alliance between Broken Hill and two other mining centres will focus on.

The Australian Mining Cities Alliance, which also includes Mount Isa in Queensland and Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia, had its official launch in Canberra yesterday. 

The alliance was first mooted three years ago at a Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia conference in Alice Springs.

Its three objectives are to progress the economic and social development of mining cities across Australia; share experiences and know-how among the members; and improve government policy settings. 

Mayor Darriea Turley said yesterday that the three founding cities wanted to position the alliance as “a powerful educational and advocacy force” and had already identified a number of issues to focus on.   

“At our last meeting we discussed the impact of energy cost and the potential impact on employment in the industry (and) regional air services,” she told the BDT. 

“By tapping into our collective experience and by pooling resources, we can better address these sorts of challenges and pursue opportunities in a highly collaborative way.”

But the mayor, who is in Sydney and didn’t attend yesterday’s launch, said it was “critical” the alliance grow its membership base. 

“There are so many opportunities of having such a national body and we know that other councils and organisations want to join but we just need to get all our governance in place and make sure that we have a prospectus to give to everybody.”

At least 50 mining cities across Australia are eligible to join the alliance which will also reach out to mining companies, according to alliance chair, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor John Bowler. 

It’s understood neither Perilya nor CBH Resources has been approached to join as yet.

“In 2018 we will be working swiftly to finalise a work and research program so that we can continue to improve the future for our communities,” Mr Bowler said. 

Mount Isa Mayor, Joyce McCulloch, said: “Since the announcement of the alliance in October 2017, I have received nothing but positive feedback ñ this was an idea whose time had come.

“We can only imagine what will be possible when other mining cities join us.”

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