The Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue has “zoomed in” on online technology to keep the Dialogue’s work on schedule while complying with Covid-19 restrictions.
Using Zoom web video conferencing technology, the Dialogue’s Industry and Joint Economic and Social Development working groups, Industry and Joint Environment working groups, Communications Working Group, Industry Steering Committee and Joint Advisory Steering Committee all met online in June.
All meetings were updated on the progress of Dialogue projects including the soon-to-be released data tracking rehabilitation of mined land and water usage by mining industry partners in 2019.
Working group members also discussed the findings of the Air Quality Monitoring Data Analysis; a study looking at changes in air quality in the Upper Hunter over time. The report on the study has been reviewed by the CSIRO and is expected to be finalised soon.
As well, all meetings were updated on the preliminary findings of the Australian Coal Industry’s Research Program (ACARP) Past and Present Mine Rehabilitation Project which is studying the pasture potential of soils on rehabilitated mined land. The report on this study is being finalised by the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
The Joint Economic and Social Development Working Group meeting on June 10 also welcomed its newest member NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce; CEO Debbie Barwick updated members on the chamber’s activities.
While work on many Dialogue projects have continued unaffected by Covid-19 regulations, social gathering restrictions have impacted on some activities including the postponement of the School Mine Tours and Community Engagement programs.
However, the Dialogue remains committed to resuming both programs when allowed by official easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Timing of Mining Business Procurement Events, the 2020 Annual Forum and the resumption of face-to-face meetings are also under review.