Wellington has the potential to be the accommodation centre for both the Cobbora and Alkane mining interests.
Groups which manufacture and broker mining villages will be heading to Wellington in the next few weeks to meet Wellington Council’s general manager Michael Tolhurst in a bid to promote the town as a centre.
The mayor of Broken Hill, a town at the helm of a mining boom, spoke with the Times about a mining village proposed for his town.
Wincen Cuy believes this prototype could boost Wellington’s economy as well.
“We have only a few fly in fly out miners and this new mining village, which is on public display at our chambers and will be situated just outside of Broken Hill, could certainly be something your town should be looking at because it has enormous benefits for the local economy,” Cr Cuy said.
Mr Tolhurst is expected to meet with two groups who have decades of experience in brokering and manufacturing these types of villages.
The village concept is expected to bring new people into towns and ramp up investment, local employment and also increase the rate payer base because the people then investigate the possibility of relocating their families and become rate payers.
“The expanding mining base in NSW is good for towns like Broken Hill, and Wellington has an opportunity here I believe,” Mr Cuy said.
Mr Tolhurst believes this type of village could have wide ranging benefits for Wellington.
“I will be talking with these mining village operators over the next few weeks and the comments from further west seem very positive,” he said.
“We will certainly talk with them.”
Mayor Anne Jones will talk with the Broken Hill mayor at upcoming shire and council conferences and believes investments like this can produce results for the town.
“I will be talking with Mr Cuy about their dealings with
these groups and what the possibilities are, along with the GM,” she said.
Cobbora Chief Executive Steve Ireland told the Times the location of mining type accommodation is one of the most complex issues they have.
“We would be interested in solving this ongoing problem and it’s the number one priority
for the mine in some way,” he said.
State member for Orange Andrew Gee met with council, Wellington Development Inc
representatives and NSW Industry and Investment
officials in Wellington and believes this area’s geographical location meets the need for mining accommodation and villages.
Many experts cite the problems that towns like Cobar have with accommodation booked out at hotels and motels in its town and the shortage of places for miners, and also tourists, to stay.
The NSW Government released a report yesterday into the central west following consultation, submissions and meetings while transport and roads featured strongly. It also recommended key planning moves which may help councils with its future planning on the effect of things like the mining boom. One of its recommendations included.
‘’That the Department of Planning and Infrastructure confirm its commitment to directly engage with local councils and other relevant stakeholders during the next round of regional population forecasting.
The report from the state government also said.
‘’That the Department of Planning and Infrastructure undertake research, prior to the next round of regional population forecasting, into the factors influencing population movements across central and western NSW, and that the results of this research be made publicly available.’’