YESTERDAY’S job expo in Orange was literally a mine of information as hundreds of job seekers were exposed to job and training opportunities they did not know existed - including more than a 100 new jobs at a planned gold mine between Orange and Blayney.
An update on the progress of Regis Resources’ McPhillamy’s project at Kings Plains was a revelation for workers unaware that this new gold mine could be employing former Electrolux workers by 2016.
There are still many hurdles for the West Australian miner to clear before it gets approval to begin construction, but the mood was overwhelmingly positive as Regis Resources laid out its recruitment plans to a large audience.
The reality check was that experienced mine workers and tradesmen would be needed during the construction phase and there would be a considerable period after Electrolux closed before the mine expected to start hiring retrenched workers. And that depends on completing environmental studies and other requirements to the satisfaction of the planning department and sourcing a suitable water supply.
While the availability of more water for this and other projects once again prompted discussion about the need for a new dam, the expo delivered a morale boost for some who attended expecting the opportunities to be limited.
The fact that so many local employers and training providers attended reflected confidence in the future of local economy.
While Orange is a long way from enjoying the boom times experienced at the height of the Cadia expansion, their presence reflected a realistic assessment that there is plenty of potential for employment and continuing prosperity in Orange.