Critical lobby: councillors push to rejoin mining group

A DECISION to pull out of the Association of Mining Related Councils could be overturned on Thursday night, with councillors contending the region could miss out on royalties.

Orange City Council decided last month to pull out of the organisation, with mayor Reg Kidd saying he could not recall the last time the council had attended a meeting.

The organisation costs $7630 a year in membership fees.

It’s critical we keep our seat at the table.

Jeff Whitton

However, councillor Jeff Whitton said it was a useful lobby group when it came to accessing mining royalties. 

“I think it’s critical that we as a council keep our seat at the table,” he said. 

“It’s the industry organisation that basically lobbies the federal and state ministers in the energy sector.”

Councillors Whitton, Glenn Taylor and Jason Hamling have signed a rescission motion to reverse the decision.

Cr Taylor has also given notice, should the first motion be successful, he will move to invite former mayor John Davis to be the council’s delegate on the association, saying he would ensure the region’s interests were represented. 

“[He] is very experienced in mining-related matters and has previously been the delegate,” he said. 

Staff have confirmed a community delegate could be appointed.