LAST week, the communities of the Hunter region came together to have their voices heard on the Maxwell Underground Project.
Roughly 60 people presented to the Independent Planning Commission of NSW, which facilitated a public hearing in regard to the project - Malabar Resources' underground coal mine proposal located near Denman.
On behalf of Malabar, thank you to everyone who presented and to everyone who has lodged a submission.
Your feedback is crucial. It follows eight years of frank and open conversations with our neighbours and members of the community to get this project right.
These conversations have led to substantial tangible changes in the project's design that make it completely different from past open-cut proposals.
These changes, like the mine being underground-only, ensure the Maxwell Underground Project can co-exist with its neighbours and other industries in the region.
This is backed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, which released its Assessment Report in September stating the Project is in the public interest and can proceed.
The Maxwell Underground Project has enormous potential, particularly during these tough economic times.
The project will create 250 construction jobs and 350 direct jobs during operations.
These jobs will generate around $55 million in wages delivered into the local economy each year.
And for every direct job, many more will be generated through investment in local businesses and suppliers.
There is still an opportunity to lodge a written submission to the IPC, which gives equal weight to both written comments and spoken presentations.
I encourage everyone to take part by going to https://www.ipcn.nsw.gov.au/projects/2020/09/maxwell-underground-coal-mine-project.
- Wayne Seabrook, chairman of Malabar Resources