Premier Mike Baird at the NSW mining coal face

Premier Mike Baird at the NSW mining coal face

NSW Premier Mike Baird swaps Florsheim’s for ‘steelies’ – for a day anyway!

Normally when politicians hit the pavements they are in search of babies to kiss or hospitals to visit. However, NSW Premier Mike Baird has chosen to pop on his PPE and swap his Florsheim shoes for ‘steelies’.

The relatively young and fledgling premier Mike Baird`s headed to the coal mining hotspot of the Hunter Valley to meet the workers. A gesture that was extremely well received by the NSW mining community as Mr. Baird planned on visiting various mining projects in the area.

In particular, the Premier is expected to visit Anglo American`s Drayton South and Rio Tinto Coal and Allied`s Mt Thorley Warkworth coal mines. During his travels he’s expected to ‘meet-n-greet’ all manner of mine workers to gain a unique and first-hand perspective of what’s it’s really like out there in the in the coal fields.

NSW Mining chief executive Stephen Galilee mentioned that with unemployment in the Hunter region at around 13 per cent, it was essential that the NSW Government do what it can to support projects that would breath life into more jobs for the locals.

“We understand that some issues generate a lot of emotion, demonstrated by the anxiety of the 1,800 workers of Drayton South and Mount Thorley Warkworth with jobs on the line.

Galilee made mention of his continuing support for planning approval for the expansion of the Mt Thorley Warkworth mine, as a critical factor in keeping employment levels as high as they could reasonably be expected to be. The additional spin-off from the mine expansion would also mean indirect industries that support the mines would also continue to prosper.

“If the NSW Government wants to strengthen the Hunter economy, supporting vital mining projects like Drayton South and Mount Thorley Warkworth is essential”, Galilee said.

With coal prices remaining at all-time lows, pressure is on to keep coal mining alive in the Hunter Valley region. The support of the NSW government is exactly what is needed to boost confidence in the sector and keep the local economy in the black.

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