The Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue and its industry partners continue to implement serious interim measures in response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
In line with government health advice, the Dialogue has temporarily suspended all events and face-to-face committee and working group meetings in the short-term. The Dialogue is currently evaluating the forward program of activities including joint business chamber functions, community events and the annual forum.
Fortunately, the Dialogue was able to complete the first round of Joint Working Group meetings during early March and evaluate the extensive and quality feedback received at the 2019 Forum. The Dialogue is in a good position to communicate these outcomes to the Joint Advisory Steering Committee for further consideration and review as the Dialogue develops its priorities in 2020.
The COVID-19 situation has also had a considerable impact on the Dialogue’s stakeholder engagement initiatives, including the launch of our 2020 School Mine Tours Program. Tours scheduled for May and June have had to be postponed due to restrictions on school excursions and protection measures implemented at mine sites. The Dialogue will continue to closely monitor the situation and will seek to reschedule tours for later in the year if possible.
The new restrictions have also impacted the various community events the Dialogue had scheduled to attend. As a result, the Dialogue will seek to increase its online engagement and communications, and will expedite the release of a newsletter update to stakeholders.
While the tours program, meetings and community engagement activities have been put on hold, the Dialogue secretariat will continue to actively work on projects and communicate its activities to stakeholders as we all progress through this challenging situation.
What are the Dialogue’s industry partners doing?
Mine sites across the Upper Hunter and all of NSW are implementing the new Resources Sector – National COVID-19 Protocols to help their mining workforce, mining families and mining communities to remain safe and healthy during this challenging time.
These protocols have been developed by industry leaders in accordance with public health advice, and include enhanced health monitoring and testing, increased cleaning and sanitation, work from home policies, social distancing, changed travel and transport arrangements, enhanced screening for visitors, and more.
Several industry partners participating in the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue have communicated their responses to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, which include various initiatives such as funding for new workforce positions, funding for community organisations and programs, and supporting key contractors and suppliers on reduced payment terms and business support activities.
Below are links to Dialogue industry partner websites which contain information about specific company approaches:
Bengalla Mining Company – https://www.bengalla.com.au/
BHP – https://www.bhp.com/vitalresources/
The Bloomfield Group – https://www.bloomcoll.com.au/
Glencore – https://www.glencore.com.au/
Mount Pleasant Operation – https://machenergyaustralia.com.au/
Peabody Energy – https://www.peabodyenergy.com/
Thiess – https://www.thiess.com/
Yancoal – https://www.yancoal.com.au/
For more information on the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue, please visit the following site: http://www.miningdialogue.com.au.