Whitehaven Coal has today confirmed the significant contribution it makes to regional economies at a public hearing in Tamworth convened by the House of Representatives Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources Committee. The Committee is holding an Inquiry into how the mining sector can support businesses in regional economies.
Appearing before the Committee, Whitehaven Coal Managing Director and CEO, Paul Flynn said he was pleased to take part in proceedings and to showcase Whitehaven’s commitment to ensuring local communities and businesses shared in the economic dividends brought about by the mining sector.
“Whitehaven Coal is truly a regional success story. From humble beginnings we have grown to become the largest private sector employer in North West NSW, employing hundreds of local men and women, supporting countless local businesses and leaving a positive mark in areas such as Indigenous employment.
“We have always believed that, as we continue to grow and prosper, we must ensure the local community can see and share in the benefits of our presence.
“Having just lodged the Environmental Impact Statement for our Vickery Extension Project, it is timely for us to reaffirm that a bigger, stronger Whitehaven means a more prosperous and sustainable local economy and community.
Whitehaven’s contribution to North West NSW is significant and, over the past five years, the company has spent more than $1.5 billion in the region. In FY18 Whitehaven spent $293.2 million with local suppliers and provided $1.9 million in Voluntary Planning Agreement payments to build and upgrade local community infrastructure.
“Local suppliers and businesses are the backbone of our operation and, with the Inquiry looking at issues such as payment and procurement terms, we are proud of our strong track record of paying suppliers in full and on time, and helping these business to grow and prosper.
“Just a few weeks ago we awarded $21.8 million in contracts to three Narrabri-based businesses that employ 42 people – this equals security and certainty for these local operations and the chance to grow not just their workforce, but their bottom line.
“We are also proud of the fact our local contribution extends to a wide range of community organisations, with a particular focus on Indigenous groups.
“Over the past year, Whitehaven has supported the Narrabri Education Foundation, Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre in Narrabri, Girls Academy, Narrabri and Gunnedah Education Fund, Boggabri Multi-Purpose Centre, the Narrabri, Gunnedah and Quirindi Shows, the North Narrabri, Boggabri Drovers Campfire, Boggabri Health, and a range of other community organisations” Mr Flynn said.