West Coast needs jobs

Miners from the West Coast and Huntly are protesting at parliament about job losses while Bathurst is battling its way through the consent process with a project which would provide jobs.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce is right when he calls on environmentalists who are fighting consents to think about the economic opportunities.

“The Escarpment Mine is an open cast mining project that is ready to go and would provide 225 jobs and incomes for workers and their families on the West Coast straight away,” Mr Joyce says.

“The developer is being held up from opening the Escarpment Mine by on-going litigation that has gone through the Environment Court, the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

“These on-going objections are to resource consents which were granted more than a year ago. The whole consenting process for this development has now taken a staggering seven years.

“I call on those objectors to the mine to reconsider their appeals and consider the economic future of the West Coast and its people.

Environmentalists won the battle against sustainable logging on the Coast at the cost of many jobs – and pest control – and now they’re also wanting to stop mining even though the region desperately needs the jobs.

Few if any would call an open cast mine attractive but it will cover a relatively small area and the company can be required to leave the area in at least as good a state as it was before it started the project.

“I also call on the EPMU, Labour and the Greens to join my call and back the West Coast community by supporting the immediate development of the Escarpment Mine.

“The political opposition can’t have it both ways. They can’t on one hand moan about job losses and then on the other not support initiatives that would create the sort of jobs that they’re asking for.

“If we are serious about jobs and providing incomes on the West Coast then objectors should stop getting in the way of this immediate opportunity to create those jobs.”

There are more votes from the urban greens than West Coast reds so don’t hold your breath waiting for Labour to support the Minister’s call.

However, it purports to be the workers’ party and it’s MPs won’t be averse to photo opportunities with the protesters.

As for the EPMU, will it have the intestinal fortitude to show it really is representing workers and back the job creation or will politics come before people for it too?

10 Responses to West Coast needs jobs

  1. Cadwallader says:

    Agree but would re-phrase it to…”New Zealand needs the West Coast to have an abundance of jobs.”

  2. robertguyton says:

    This must be the lowest you could go, Ele.

  3. jabba says:

    good call HP .. someone needs to call it as it is .. I saw Hauge supporting the miners so needs to man up and we all know Norman is a mining fan, he has said so.

  4. Richard says:

    Ah—, RG is back.– RG, come up to McCraes’s gold mine near Palmerston and see how mined land can be rejuvenated. I am astonished how the landscape changes year by year with new hills of planted vegetation.herbs and spices+the murals.
    My only issue, and disappointment, is that the big pit will not be filled in my lifetime – 40 years. Mind you, the pit could make a good place for a yellow/ green submarine? – With Admiral Guyton?

  5. Viv says:

    Richard- surely you jest. I’ve been to Macraes recently, it looks so fake, not like the landscape that was dug up.
    Ele- on Morning report today, both Labour and the EPMU said they were not objecting to the Denniston mine & Mr Joyce was wrong about 7 years, it has been 2.
    Spring creek was uneconomic because the price of coal dropped- why the hell should we dig up irreplaceable natural landscapes for a polluting commodity that is going down in price?
    Unsuprising knee jerk reaction from Mr Joyce though- let’s blame the greenies, they might just be getting a bit too popular
    Get some facts straight- we are not asking to shut down existing coal mines, the message is NO NEW COAL MINES.

  6. robertguyton says:

    Joyce’s slavering behaviour is being commented upon inside and outside of the House. Hot Topic notes:

    “Joyce is breaching the Sub judice rule.”

    That’s worth remembering.

    Richard, my apologies for reappearing, fleetingly. This turn of events really scrapes the bottom of my barrel and Joyce’s (and Key’s) behaviour in transposing the blame for the Spring Creek layoff’s onto the Greens, disgusts me and I’m fairly hard to disgust.
    I’m not even faintly convinced by your ‘Macraes’ story either. I’ve been there and I’ve read many commentaries on what’s beings done. There is a vast difference, you’ll no doubt be aware, between gold mining and coal mining, sheer bulk being the main.
    I’ll not comment any further here (save in desperate times) as I provoke indignation whenever I do.

  7. inventory2 says:

    Hardly surprising that Robert turns up to defend the indefensible. He showed up at my place the other day which was good in an odd way. because it reminded me how much he was not missed!

    Bathurst is prepared to take the risk with the Escarpment mine, so the Govt won’t have to stump up subsidies as Labour and the Greens would want. It’s only the objection from Forest and Bird (with its Labour/Green mates) that is stopping a new economic development from proceeding.

  8. JC says:

    I’ve had a look at NZ coal prices over the last 30-40 years and was surprised at how stable it was until just a few years ago.. in the order of $60-120 per tonne (depending on coal type) with a boom up to $200 recently.

    I looked at 2009 forecasts for coal prices and these seem to indicate they will be stable for the next few years at something a little higher than the long run historical figures.

    Sooo, the boom would appear to be over but coal demand will still be there and coal producers will have to tighten up their costs to adapt to the new reality, close down high cost deep mines with low value coal and tide over with the cheaper open cast type mines.. which appears to be pretty much whats happening.

    Denniston would appear to meet a number of urgent priorities.. its cheaper to extract, supplies urgently needed mining jobs, is less risky with someone else taking the risk, provides royalties and has jumped the regulatory hurdles.

    Time to be adult and go do it.

    JC

  9. Costa says:

    FYI:

    EPMU corrects Joyce on Bathurst mine

    25 September, 2012

    The EPMU would like to correct statements from Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today which implied the union was somehow opposing Bathurst’s Escarpment Mine.

    The EPMU has always supported the Escarpment Mine and welcomes the potential for 400 new mining jobs on the West Coast.

    Mr Joyce is welcome to come and talk to the EPMU at any time for an update on the union’s views on the need for Government support for New Zealand’s mining communities.

    ENDS

    http://www.epmu.org.nz/news/show/173422

  10. homepaddock says:

    The quote I used was calling on the EPMU to support the mine which is not the same as saying it isn’t, but it’s good to get clarification that the union is supportive.

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