Upper Hunter coal industry receives harsh report
Posted April 15, 2011 09:22:00
Map: Singleton 2330 The NSW Minerals Council says it is surprised the Hunter Valley's coal industry has rated poorly in an independent community survey.
Participants in the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue have received a research report examining opinions about the cumultative impacts of local mines.
The Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility concluded a long-term commitment will be needed to improve the industry's relationship with the community.
"Overall the results do show that there is a lack of trust toward the mining industry as a whole and giving us below average scores on a range of questions about things like reputation, relationship quality and social capital," Minerals Council Deputy Chief Executive, Sue-Ern Tan said.
"I am personally very concerned about the findings, they will be and are very challenging for the industry,"
"I think the depth of concern is worrying and the low level of trust the community has really surprised me."
In response three industry working groups have been established to address the cumulative impacts of the region's open cut coal mines.
The research identified dust, air quality and the need for mine site rehabilitation as the community's main concerns.
"We have already established within the industry the three working groups as a first step and what we have done is look at the priority issues raised by the survey," Ms Tan said.
"They were clearly around dust, air quality, water, issues around rehabilitation and then what is happening with social infrastructure and the social issues in the towns thenselves,"
"So those are the three areas we are going to focus on."
The survey and the industry's response can viewed at the NSW Minerals Council website.
The report is available here.