Regis Resources Special Projects Manager Tony McPaul has hit back at claims Orange will benefit from the McPhillamy's Gold Project more than the near-by town of Blayney, declaring the project's 'local's first' policy key in bringing mining jobs back to Blayney.
Belubula Headwaters Protection Group president Dan Sutton last week said there were inconsistencies in the Environmental Impact Statement, including the economic benefits, around the project and bigger centres like Bathurst and Orange would more than likely prosper more.
But Mr McPaul said his company's 'locals first' policy endeavours to create a number of jobs in Blayney over the 10-year operating life of the mine.
"Depending on certainty around the approvals process we may even put some apprentices on early so we can start training them up and getting them tool ready sooner than later because most apprentices are a three to four year deal," he said.
Depending on certainty around the approvals process we may even put some apprentices on early so we can start training them up...Regis Resources Special Projects Manager Tony McPaul
Concerns in the business community have been raised about the potential of their own staff leaving to work at the mine for the enticement of higher wages.
That's a situation very high on Mr McPauls mind.
"We'll certainly give preference to people locally and we're very conscious that we don't want to take all the labour out of the businesses in Blayney" he said.
"So wherever we can we'll work with local businesses to make sure this doesn't happen,' he said.
One of the understated social and community benefits of a local mine is the possibility of local workers returning to Blayney to live with their families.
The reality of a mine worker's life was illustrated clearly to Mr McPaul when he was on a recent flight.
"There were two guys on the plane and one was flying to Papua New Guinea to work and the other was flying to South Africa to work, and they would obviously prefer to be working back closer to home," he said.
"They weren't flying all that way because they wanted to and they were asking when are we opening, when can we get work in Blayney?"
Mr McPaul said that the office on Adelaide Street was often visited by workers that were looking for local work.
"There are people that are driving in and out of other parts of NSW that are coming in here regularly wanting to know when we're likely to get things going and want to be closer to home."
Mr McPaul acknowledges that the housing situation in Blayney is already tight.
"If we can employ people and they can relocate or move into the Blayney area that would be great but we do know that accommodation is limited and that Blayney council is looking into that."
If we can employ people and they can relocate or move into the Blayney area that would be great.Regis Resources Special Projects Manager Tony McPaul
An opportunity to discuss the project with Regis Resources staff and independent technical experts will be available at the McPhillamy's Open Days in Blayney next week, 15 and 16 October 2019.
"With our environmental impact statement currently on exhibition this is another opportunity for locals to talk to the technical experts about issues such as noise, traffic, water, air quality, biodiversity, heritage, employment and business opportunities," Mr McPaul said.
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