“There used to be no dialogue between the mines and the local people – it was them and us.”
That’s what Wendy Bowman from Mine Watch tells us honestly in the first of three videos we’re releasing to raise awareness about the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue and just how much things have changed.
The Dialogue is a unique effort underway in Australian mining between the industry and the community to work together to identify issues and come up with solutions to address them.
In part one, Wendy talks about how her perception of our miners is changing and praises the mining rehabilitation she saw firsthand at Glencore’s Mt Owen mine, the result of a collaboration between the mine and the Tom Farrell Institute at Newcastle University.
“The difference was unbelievable… it’s the first time in 25 years I have seen kangaroos on rehabilitated soil.”
Troy Favell from Peabody Energy’s Wambo Coal explains in the clip that despite some initial reservations from both sides, the dialogue has evolved into something positive.
“At first we were a little bit nervous… I’ve been involved with [the Dialogue] since its conception so I’ve seen it develop and mature over the past few years into a positive association between the industry and the community.”
Gerard Gleeson from Coal & Allied shares his enjoyment of being involved with the dialogue.
“I thoroughly enjoy being part of the working group and tackling issues of concern to the community.”
John Richards from The Bloomfield Group praises the willingness and mutual respect of everyone involved in shaping the success of the dialogue.
“I’d have to say if we thought we knew everything at the start of this process, we were sadly mistaken. Maybe it’s because there have been open minds on both sides of the table. We’ve had some really good moments and some fun along the way.”