THE region’s mining operations will be subjected to renewed scrutiny with the arrival of a State government appointed compliance officer.
Upper Hunter MP George Souris said the Department of Planning and Infrastructure had recently decided to expand its regional compliance functions in the Hunter to incorporate Gloucester.
“While the Department’s State-wide compliance operations are headquartered in Sydney, a standalone compliance office has operated in Singleton since 2010 to more directly oversee the cluster of coal mines in the Upper Hunter,” he said.
“The Department agrees that this localised approach has proven particularly successful and that the Singleton team would now add extra staff and expand its coverage to include Gloucester.
Mr Souris said the compliance officer would be tasked with responding to dust and noise management issues as well as building relationships between miners and the local community. Experienced compliance officer Ben Harrison has been given the job of overseeing the department’s new Gloucester operations.
“Having worked in the Singleton team for the past three years, I’ve seen the benefits of a local presence and I’m really looking forward to spending more time in and around Gloucester,” Mr Harrison said.
“Gloucester is a local community that is really well engaged on mining and compliance issues, so I’ve no doubt we’ll have plenty to work on together.
“From my experience, mining operations tend to work best when they’re well integrated with the local community as well, so it will be part of my job to help facilitate those relationships, while also keeping a close eye on their day to day operation.”