OUR SAY: Premier takes his golden opportunity to talk up Cadia

THE official opening of the Cadia East gold mine on Wednesday was a rare opportunity in recent times for a NSW premier to talk about mining, agriculture and the public good and not have it blow up in his face.

Still fresh from his promotion to the state government's top job, Premier Mike Baird exuded genuine enthusiasm for the scale, technological achievements and relative community harmony which have been characteristics of the development of this third stage of Cadia Valley.

For most residents of Orange Cadia Valley Operations is now part of the furniture, a very significant and valued part of the regional economy.

While some of Newcrest Mining's other investments have been generating headlines for all the wrong reasons, and public confidence in coal and gas exploration across the state has collapsed, Cadia has been quietly delivering profits for Newcrest shareholders, wages totalling some $210 million last year alone and scores of community development projects.

It has been, as Mr Baird said, an excellent example of how mining, agriculture and communities can work together.

For most people in Orange, Mr Baird's observations were not new. Few households in Orange would not have some connection with mining at Cadia and, whether they realise it or not, everyone benefits from the economic activity Cadia generates.

Wednesday was an opportunity for the management and staff of Cadia Valley Operations to show off a world class mining operation of which they were justifiably proud and which will secure this district's prosperity for 20 to 30 years, and possibly longer.

There was no mention of the handful of disputes with landowners in the early years and only a passing reference to the tensions over water supply for mining at the height of the drought but in the vast scheme of things Cadia has treaded softly and shared the economic bounty widely.

For metropolitan media and visitors from the mining sector in Australia and internationally, the Cadia East project should be seen for what it is, a world class endeavour.


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