Minerals Council advertising campaign draws criticism from Lock the Gate

THE Minerals Council of Australia has stepped up a national advertising campaign with a new video highlighting the use of drones in open-cut coalmines.

FLYING HIGH: A still from a new Minerals Council of Australia video showing the use of drones in coalmining. The video is one of a series in the council's Making the Future Possible public awareness campaign.

FLYING HIGH: A still from a new Minerals Council of Australia video showing the use of drones in coalmining. The video is one of a series in the council's Making the Future Possible public awareness campaign.

The campaign, titled Making the Future Possible, began last year and advertisements will be airing on free-to-air television, pay television, cinemas, radio and online.

Stephen Galilee, chief executive of the NSW Minerals Council, said the state organisation was working closely with its national counterpart on the advertising campaign, some of which was filmed in locations in the Hunter Region.

A spokesperson for the the NSW Minerals Council said it was important that the industry get its message across in as many ways as possible, especially given that mining’s opponents were so well versed in the use of social media to build up anti-mining campaigns.

Responding to the new video, Lock the Gate’s NSW co-ordinator, Georgina Woods, said the Hunter Region did not need a marketing campaign for mining technology.

“We need serious action to address the social and environmental challenges looming for this region brought on by unrestrained coalmining and lack of investment in the region's long-term future,” Ms Woods said.

"The Minerals Council's campaign boasts about the rise of remotely operated technology in the industry, but in reality the replacement of people by machines is a source of anxiety for for mining communities, as is the slump in demand for thermal coal internationally,” she said.

"We have deep and lasting challenges to tackle and you can't do that with advertising or by pretending the problems we face do not exist.

“Instead of throwing its money at marketing, we'd like to see the Minerals Council wind back its extreme mining-at-any-cost agenda and put care for people and the environment back into the picture."

Another video in the campaign features Beresfield business Quarry Mining, which specialises in manufacturing drilling tools for underground mines and tunneling companies, employing about 55 people.

Quarry Mining managing director Kari Armitage said she was proud to take part in the campaign, with her video showcasing the role of small-to-medium enterprises like her in feeding the supply chain and creating employment.

 “Coal is the lifeblood of our economy and I believe we can do things in the industry in an environmentally responsible way,” Ms Armitage said.

“We’ve installed $180,000 worth of solar panels at the factory but it still took coal to make them.”

ENTERPRISE: Quarry Mining managing director Kari Armitage at her Beresfield business. Picture: Peter Stoop

ENTERPRISE: Quarry Mining managing director Kari Armitage at her Beresfield business. Picture: Peter Stoop

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