Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) district president and local business owner Andy Honeysett expressed his opposition to a miners’ village in Gulgong on Thursday.
Addressing the Joint Regional Planning Panel at Gulgong RSL among a number of community speakers, Mr Honeysett said anything he had about mining camps was all negative.
“And I am here on that basis,” he said.
Mr Honeysett said he backed Mid-Western Regional Council’s submission because The Mac’s proposal was akin to a hotel or boutique resort.
He said the cabins on site were single king-bedrooms with nowhere for wives and partners and their children to share accommodation.
The union representative also said the rapid increase in population would be disproportionate for a town such as Gulgong. He suggested mining camps be 30-40 kilometres away from mine sites and the economic benefits would still be seen.
Mudgee District Environment Group’s Bev Smiles said the group supported Council’s opposition to The Mac proposal in “the fastest growing coal mining region in NSW”.
She suggested mining camps should be set upon land that mines purchased in the vicinity of their operations.
In terms of effects on traffic, Ms Smiles added the mining industry was not prepared to enforce its workers’ transportation methods to and from work.
Phyllis Setchell, who lives 500 metres from the Ulan-Cassilis Road, said she took her life into her hands every time she drove.
“The amount of near misses I’ve had is amazing. Hopefully we don’t have an accident involving school buses or pedestrians,” she said.
She also said the problem would not be fly-in-fly-out workers but more drive-in-drive-out miners.
Blacklead resident Alex Lithgow suggested numerous wall-mounted air conditioners on the miners’ cabins could create noise problems The Mac may not have considered.
Opposite neighbour Paul Kruezen spoke about the continuance in increasing costs of the project. He also mentioned Gulgong would still lose out on State and Federal government funding because temporary workers would not be placed on the town’s capita.
Organic gardener Katherine Binns spoke about problems likely to deepen including the strain on medical services, through factors such as treating males for depression, loneliness, drugs and alcohol.
Di O’Mara spoke on the effects on water to the region and an already existent two-speed economy