Connect Forum

A refreshed format featuring increased engagement between the community, business and the mining industry drew a record turnout to the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue’s annual forum on November 20.

With about 150 participants gathering at the Muswellbrook Race Club, the forum featured networking and information sessions where local business people and community representatives could visit more than 30 displays and talk directly to experts on subjects including procurement, rehabilitation, mine regulation, air and water quality and the progress of the review of the Upper Hunter Synoptic Plan.

Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue Chairman Dave O’Brien said the forum was a big success with not only more participants than previous years but also a greater spread of representation from across the Upper Hunter community including local business people.

“As part of the refreshed format, this year’s forum really focused on offering opportunities for local businesses to interact face to face with mining company procurement personnel,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Dialogue’s industry partners provided key personnel from their procurement departments, so people could talk directly to the experts on how the industry and local businesses can do better business together.”

The procurement exhibits were complemented by displays from both Singleton and Muswellbrook business chambers and business development officers from Muswellbrook and Singleton councils.

“The displays offered a very valuable opportunity for business and the mining industry to connect and there were many really good and interesting conversations which will be further developed,” Mr O’Brien said.

As well as the focus on business, the forum also featured displays from mining industry rehabilitation and air and water quality experts as well as exhibits from the Department of Primary Industry, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Planning and Environment, NSW Environment Protection Authority, NSW Resources Regulator and the University of Newcastle.

Following the networking sessions, participants formed into working groups to recommend solutions to issues as well as how to best take advantage of opportunities raised during the day. Those recommendations will now be reviewed and developed by the Dialogue.