Resources Roundtable Responds to COVID-19

Posted: 28th May

A collaboration between CHRC, CHDC and the resources sector

A joint initiative of the Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC) and the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) has helped united the local resources sector in the fight against COVID-19.

In October 2019, operating coal producers met with council and CHDC for the inaugural Central Highlands Resources Roundtable.

“The purpose of the roundtable was to establish a new approach to collaboration,” Mayor Kerry Hayes said.

“Little did we know then just how important forging those connections would come to be.”

Mayor Hayes said the group had since been working closely with the Local Disaster Management Group, the regional health sector and other agencies to share best practice in ensuring compliance with COVID-19 restrictions.

This week, the group released a public statement outlining its collective commitment to managing and reducing the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the region.

This includes provisions for increased seat spacing on workforce transport, enhanced hygiene and cleaning procedures, and employee temperature testing on mine sites.

“I applaud the resources roundtable group for their initiative and dedication to the local community in such a challenging time,” he said.

“Their approach is distinctly different from other resource regions.

“It is positive, proactive and highlights the level of commitment to the communities that they work in and around.”

CHDC Chief Executive Officer Sandra Hobbs echoed the mayor’s sentiments.

“The resource industry is more than a contributor to our economy and community – it’s a driver,” she said.

“The most recent Central Highlands Economic Profile shows that the sector accounts for 6,079 of the 17,019 jobs in the region and over $5 billion in output generated, making it clear it’s a primary industry of note.

“The value and strategic importance of business continuity to the region’s economy cannot be underestimated at this time.”

Operators participating in the Resources Roundtable:

  • BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (Blackwater Mine)
  • Bluff PCI Management (Bluff Mine)
  • Coronado Curragh (Curragh Mine)
  • Ensham Resources (Ensham Mine)
  • Glencore (Oaky Creek and Rolleston Coal)
  • Jellinbah Group (Jellinbah Mine)
  • Kestrel Coal Resources (Kestrel Mine)
  • Sojitz Coal Mining (Minerva, Meteor Downs South and Gregory Crinum Mines)
  • Yancoal (Yarrabee Mine)

Outcomes of value to the group:

  • Building industry and council relations
  • Networking
  • Information sharing
  • Identifying collaborative projects
  • Collective advocacy

Key topics of interest:

  • Workforce (skills, FIFO, career perception)
  • Liveability
  • Infrastructure planning
  • Local supply
  • Community spend
  • Air travel (routes and fares)
  • Industry promotion for careers (locally and regionally)
  • Rehabilitation (cross sector opportunities)
  • Regional transformation (automation)
  • Post mine futures
  • Local Disaster Management Group emerging issues e.g. COVID-19 response process