Opinion | Mining spending boosts Hunter economy | Stephen Galilee

CRUCIAL: New survey results confirm the Hunter continues to depend on mining activity for jobs, investment and growth.
CRUCIAL: New survey results confirm the Hunter continues to depend on mining activity for jobs, investment and growth.

The NSW Minerals Council’s latest annual member company Expenditure Survey found that 23 participating mining companies directly injected $4.5 billion into the Hunter economy in the 2016-17 financial year. 

This spending supported thousands of jobs and generated millions in additional spending across the region, particularly in mining communities.

These survey results cover the end of the previous mining downturn and the start of the current recovery, and with over $4.5 billion directly spent by the mining industry in the Hunter during this period it’s clear that mining is a resilient and consistent contributor to the region’s economy.

This $4.5 billion in direct spending in 2016-17 included $1.7 billion in wages for 12,604 full-time employees, and $2.8 billion in purchases from 3070 local businesses, along with community contributions and payments to local government.

This direct spending is estimated to have contributed around 19.1 per cent of the Gross Regional Product of the Hunter economy in 2016-17. This means the direct spending of the surveyed mining companies generated economic activity in the Hunter equivalent to one in every five dollars in the Hunter economy during the survey period.

The survey results included encouraging signs for the Hunter mining sector with a strong boost in  mining jobs.  The surveyed companies e were 12,604 local mining jobs in the 2016-17 financial year, up 1386 on the previous year.  More jobs means an increase in economic activity in local communities.

These survey results confirm that the Hunter continues to depend on mining activity for local jobs, investment and economic growth. Ensuring the right policy settings for mining will deliver more jobs, more opportunities, and better times for Hunter mining communities in the long term.

Stephen Galilee is the CEO of NSW Minerals Council