Narrabri Shire businesses are calling for Whitehaven’s Vickery Extension Project to be approved by the Independent Planning Commission (IPC), ahead of final public hearings into the Project to be held this week.

Vickery is a proposal to construct an open-cut coal mine about 25 kilometres north of Gunnedah.

The mine will produce a majority metallurgical coal for steel-making, with the balance being high quality thermal coal for export.

The proposal builds upon an already-approved mine, on a site that has already been extensively and safely mined over many years.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has said the Project can be approved, and the Project is now with the IPC NSW for determination.

Family-owned business Namoi WasteCorp, recognised as a finalist for this year’s NSW Mining Supplier of the Year Award, has grown alongside the mining industry over the past two decades.

“We have 17 full-time employees and provide a substantial amount of work to sub-contractors local to the region,” said Jack Campbell, manager at Namoi WasteCorp.

“Our situation is not unique.

“We work with a broad spectrum of industries and there are numerous local businesses that get a considerable portion of their income directly and indirectly from the mining industry that surrounds us.

“Our profits remain in the Narrabri community.

“We support local events and organisations, including sporting clubs and annual shows, by donating capital and waste services equivalent to tens of thousands of dollars each year.

“The responsible development of our local resources, including through projects like Vickery, will allow us to continue making this type of social and economic contribution into the future.”

Owner of Boggabri Hardware and Boggabri Business Chamber president Jo Bell noted the importance of a diversified economy for Boggabri and the Shire.

“We are a diversified town and we welcome all forms of industries to our area.

“All these industries are crucial to the survival of our town, as without them the people and the monetary support will dwindle and our town will fade away,” said Mrs Bell.

“As Boggabri business people we want to celebrate Boggabri as a ‘diversified town”’ proud of both our agriculture and mining heritage and we are determined to work together into the future to create prosperity and opportunity, nurturing our businesses and the Boggabri community.”
Will Childs founded WTC Earthmoving in 2013, and he’s seen his business and the community develop over that time.

“We now employ more than fifty people, and we encourage people to relocate to the area too – in fact we’ve helped move 12 families into the Narrabri Shire to come work with us,” said Mr Childs.

“Having grown up in Narrabri, one of the best things about mining and resources developing here is that it’s a professional sector with skilled jobs for young people.

“Now instead of moving away to the city or the coast, you can stay in the region that you love – and developments like the proposed Vickery Mine mean more opportunities.”

Mrs Bell, Mr Campbell and Mr Childs’ comments reflected the broader support for the Vickery Extension – more than 60 per cent of the public submissions made to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and more than 75 per cent of submissions made to the Independent Planning Commission last year were in support of the project.

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