Who's destroying jobs in NSW, Australia?

Monday, 24 February, 2014

Non-miners with businesses in New South Wales, Australia, have penned major objections to the expansion of Anglo-American's Drayton South Coal Mine.

An open letter was sent to New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell - and anyone else who could be embarrassed into being included in the Cc’ list - from Upper Hunter Tourism, Upper Hunter Winemakers Association and the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association, stating businesses in the region are at risk if the mine expansion goes ahead, the Newcastle Herald reports.

"If the new mine proposed at Drayton South proceeds it will result in a net loss of $457million to the NSW economy, it will strip $120million annually from our local economy, and it will put at risk 640 jobs,’’ the letter said.

"It will place at risk thousands more jobs when the impacts on our state racing, wine and tourism industries are taken into account.’’

However Union officials at CFMEU have backed Anglo's plans, citing that not going ahead would impact…jobs:

“Coal mining is a critical industry for the Hunter, generating wealth and skilled, secure jobs. It’s important that new projects come online to make up for those winding down,” the union said.

The stand-off between economic sectors is a familiar battle in countries with natural resources, and tourism in particular is terrified by the extraction process. Jobs seem to be the trump card in their arguments, likely because it is jobs that tend to garner support from locals and governments. With an increasing amount of cross sector conflict in a shrinking world, will the future survival of industries be based in their ability to provide jobs, reversing years of mechanization?