Council advocates for small business through mining inquiry
Cessnock City Council has made a presentation this week to the Australian Government advocating for the needs of small businesses impacted by mining.
On Monday 5 November Cessnock City Council was invited to present to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources inquiry hearing at Singleton Diggers Club. The invitation followed a detailed submission by Cessnock City Council to the inquiry into how the mining sector can better support businesses in regional economies.
At the public hearing, Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent voiced to the Committee Chair, Hon Barnaby Joyce MP how mining challenges for communities endure long after the mining boom and how local businesses could be better supported.
Council announced that this was an opportunity for governments to evaluate how mining could achieve longer term, more enduring outcomes for the regions.
“We have an opportunity to harness the potential of our regional communities, and most importantly we have the opportunity to redress regional imbalances and disparities as a result of mining legacies,” said Cr Pynsent.
As part of its submission, Council highlighted the cumulative impacts which build over time to leave a legacy of complex economic, social and environmental costs. Council urged the Australian Government to recognise the cumulative impacts of mining and ensure distributive justice in how mining royalties are made by the states to fund critical infrastructure for future generations.
Cr Pynsent criticised unacceptable payment terms, identifying mining companies were still taking up to 90 days to process payments to small businesses. Council also recommended an education and training fund to support small businesses to become mining-sector-supplier competent and capable, so they can vie for local work and tenders. Furthermore, there should be an accepted percentage of local business suppliers to the mining sector.
“I am proud of the submission Cessnock City Council has made to this inquiry and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to speak at the Public Hearing,” said Cr Pynsent.
“We will continue to address the challenges faced by our community as a result of mining legacy impacts and push the Australian Government for greater opportunities to capture economic diversification and resilience,” added Cr Pynsent.
The Committee was accepting submissions until COB Monday 5 November 2018. A Government response to all submissions and the hearing will be made on aph.gov.au.