NEW England MP Barnaby Joyce will chair an inquiry in to how developing the mining sector can support businesses in regional economies.
The inquiry will look at a range of issues that affect landholders and businesses in mining regions, including the payments and royalties offered by mining businesses, barriers to getting involved in the industry and how the industry can support regional communities.
Mr Joyce said he was looking forward to chairing the Innovation, Industry, Science and Resources Committee.
“The economic benefits of the mining industry are not limited solely to the ‘big miners’,” Mr Joyce said.
“In any mining area there will also be a raft of businesses providing the mining operation with necessary goods, services, and logistics support.
“Ensuring that there is a close connection between where wealth is extracted and where it is spent is vital for regional economies.”
NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the inquiry was important to get the right policy setting for the industry, which already played a huge role in the region’s economy.
“Mining in regional areas, like New England, helps underpin the strength of local economies not only by providing jobs, but also creating opportunities for local businesses,” he said.
“In regional mining communities like Tamworth, Gunnedah and Narrabri, local mining provides excellent opportunities for businesses that supply the industry as well as for the wider business community indirectly.”
Mr Galilee said a recent economic survey by his organisation found local miners spent over $200 million in the New England region during the last financial year.
“This included $86.1 million in purchases from 385 local businesses, along with community contributions and payments to local government,” Mr Galilee said.
“This translates into increased economic activity for these regional towns, as these businesses make further purchases and pay wages to their employees.
“Our survey confirms that businesses in New England will continue to benefit from mining activity.”