There are fears about the long-term economic impact stemming from last week’s deadly mine collapse at Cessnock in New South Wales.
Jamie Mitchell and Philip Grant were killed when a wall at the Austar mine in the Hunter region caved in.
Government officials are conducting a fullscale investigation and it is unclear when the mine will re-open.
The president of the Cessnock Chamber of Commerce Geoff Walker says the community is shocked by the collapse which could have long lasting effects.
“Austar was resurrected,” he said.
“It virtually was a closed mine that was resurrected, and brought new employment to the local area, so any shutdown is sad for Cessnock and hopefully it’s not for a prolonged period.”
Mr Walker says it will take time for the community to heal.
“It effects the whole economy or the whole local area,” he said.
“People tend to withdraw and focus on the grieving process, so even those who don’t know those involved, the feeling within the town is one of very upset about what’s happened and the impact that it has.”