The New South Wales Minerals council has released new figures showing the mining industry has contributed $6.3 billion into the Hunter’s economy in direct spending last financial year.
The survey of 26 mining and exploration companies shows $1.7 billion was spent on local salaries and $4.6 billion was spent on good and services through local businesses.
Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee says it represents around a third of the Hunter region’s gross regional Product.
“The economic modelling we conducted with this direct spending data estimated that the $6.3 billion in spending by mining companies in the Hunter contributed to around 35 per cent of the GRP in the Hunter in the last financial year,” he said.
“The spending of $4.6 billion on goods and services with over 4,800 local businesses up and down the valley is a very important part of the ongoing economic strength of those local economies.”
The Minerals Council says the data shows the industry deserves more certainty in the planning process.
Mr Galilee says it shows why the State Government needs to get the policy balance right when it comes to the development of mining in NSW.
“I mean mining is a large industry in the Hunter and the numbers reflect the significant contribution that the mining sector is making to the Hunter economy.
“But it also should signal the need to ensure the industry is able to continue to responsibly develop in the Hunter.”
New South Wales Greens mining spokesman Jeremy Buckingham says the economic benefits of mining activity come at a serious cost, and need rigorous scrutiny.
“The Greens support mining but we believe any plan must include a responsible mining framework,” he said.
“A framework that acknowledges miners will lose their social licence if they continue to damage the environment and damage human health.”