This month the Hunter has had varying levels of lockdown and restrictions lifted. Whether you were lucky enough to catch up for a beer at the pub or have a picnic at the park, these small tastes of freedom are a welcome step to finally coming out of the pandemic.
For the last 18 months I don’t know how many times I’ve written the words cancelled or postponed or closed. Can you believe I’ve had my Carl Baron tickets postponed not once, not twice, but three times! But as much as I really need a good laugh right now, a cancelled event for entertainment reasons is nothing compared to how devasting these closures and cancellations are to so many of our local businesses. Take a moment to think about all the organisations and businesses that have postponed events, cancelled fundraising initiatives or shut their doors with no hope of ever recuperating their losses.
Fortunately, our communities and our industry are helping them push through. It was great to be able to share some of the stories of the things our mining industry has been doing to help not only keep our industry going, but to also support the communities they operate in.
From the very beginning of the pandemic the entire industry was quick to implement strict Covid protocols to keep people safe. Working with government, regulators and other industry associations, the mining industry pulled out all the stops to minimise the risk of Covid in our communities.
The Minerals Council of Australia set up National Protocols which have been endorsed by the mining industry and with these extensive health and safety protocols in place we have seen little disturbance to operations over the past 18 months. Which means that the 40,000 people employed in the NSW mining sector have been able to keep working and the 7,800 NSW businesses that supply goods and services to our mines have continued to do so. During this economic downturn the contribution the NSW mining industry makes has been vital.
We are so proud to share a small snapshot of what some of our local mines have been doing because it demonstrates how they are constantly going above and beyond to help. From the smallest donation to a local community group, to the incredible donation by Glencore to help find a vaccine, and don’t forget the countless additional measures being taken to prevent covid outbreaks and keep people safe. Our industry is truly committed to supporting our communities.
And the credit doesn’t just go to the companies, but also to all the workers and suppliers that are actively participating in making sure that all of us come through this pandemic together. Thank you to each and every one of you.