Upper Hunter Mining dialogue talks rehab at Hunter Coal Festival

The Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue and its mining industry partners “went to rehab” for the Hunter Coal Festival.

Backed by its mining industry partners, the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue put the subject of rehabilitation of mined land on the educational program of April’s Hunter Coal Festival.

Pictured: The Dialogue Secretariat meeting with members of the local community

The Dialogue expanded its community engagement display which visits local shows and events to include a strong focus on rehabilitation for the festival’s Singleton Community Day on April 7.

The Dialogue’s display and representatives manning it, explained rehabilitation and how it is an integral part of the mining process from before land is disturbed at a mine site to past the end of a mine’s life and at all points in between.

The Dialogue display was complemented by displays from mining industry partners including Glencore, Yancoal, Bengalla Mining Company, MachEnergy, Bloomfield Group/Rix’s Creek Mine, BHP and Peabody Energy as well as a host of displays by industry supporters.

Many of the mining company displays also focussed on rehabilitation with examples of their own “rehab success stories”, rehabilitation experts on hand to explain the process and giveaways of native seedlings used locally to return mined land back to its natural form.

The estimated 6000-strong crowd attending the Singleton Community Day at the Singleton Showground allowed the Dialogue and the industry to discuss rehabilitation face to face with interested community members.

This was an important opportunity as the Dialogue’s research shows rehabilitation of mined land is the single biggest issue in the minds of community members who fill out the Dialogue’s community surveys.

The 10-day Hunter Coal Festival also gave the Dialogue other prime opportunities to engage with the Upper Hunter community; the Dialogue’s Chairman Dave O’Brien presented an update on the Dialogue’s activities to the more than 200 people attending the Mining Leaders Lunch on April 6 and about 40 community members attended an update on the Upper Hunter Synoptic Plan review on April 13.

The synoptic plan review is the result of a call for action at the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue 2016 Annual Forum and Dialogue members are participating in the working group as part of the review.

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