RESOURCES STILL ON THE RADAR FOR GUNNEDAH
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has today gained assurance from the Department of Trade and Investment to re-investigate Gunnedah Shire Councils submission for Resources for Regions Funding following a meeting in Parliament House today.
Mr Anderson called the emergency meeting because he believed that the Department has significantly underestimated the amount of mining related activity in the Gunnedah region.
“There is no doubt that Gunnedah is impacted by mining in various ways and they should be included in the Resources for Regions Program for the communities who are affected by mining.
“Gunnedah was not included in the latest round of Resources for Regions Funding because the figures used by the department did not qualify them for the funding,” Mr Anderson said.
Today Mr Anderson facilitated a meeting with Gunnedah Shire Mayor Owen Hasler, Acting General Manager Colin Formann and Nick Milham from NSW Department of Trade and Investment.
Gunnedah Shire Council Mayor Owen Hasler has strongly disputed the Departments assessment and Gunnedah's ranking compared to other Councils in the State.
Mr Hasler said that he welcomed the opportunity to present their concerns regarding the Report and that he thanked Mr Anderson for organising the meeting.
“The data used by the Government in their assessment differs greatly from what actually happens on the ground, particularly relating to truck movements and population related to mining.
“I also welcome the opportunity now to make a submission justifying the exceptional circumstances with regards to mine related truck movements, the direct and indirect impact on Gunnedah Shire and population growth,” Mr Hasler said.
Mr Anderson said the method of assessment as with any analytical process will have anomalies and one size does not fit all and a special circumstances process needs to exist to address the issue of councils that are clearly mining affected but don't appear to meet the desktop criteria.
“The Government assessment stated there were only 40 truck movements a day, whereas Gunnedah Shire Council says there are 740 truck movements and day just on Blue Vale Road.
“The report also stated that Gunnedah was well down in mining related employment however population figures from the Minerals Council states that currently 20.2 per cent of Gunnedah’s population are engaged in mining either directly or indirectly.
“Gunnedah Shire Council has been asked to compile a submission and submit their data to the Department for reassessment.
“The department will investigate the discrepancies of the data used from the Bureau of Freight Statistics and other agencies.
“Everyone in the Gunnedah Shire knows that we are impacted by mining and we need to be appropriately recognised and be included in Resources for Regions Funding. I look forward to continuing the fight to make that happen,” Mr Anderson concluded.