The Singleton Chamber of Commerce will hold a meeting at Rio Tinto’s Mt Thorley-Warkworth mine aimed at educating local businesses on how to cash in on the coal industry.
The chamber’s new president, Ryan Fitzpatrick, says many SMEs in the region are missing out on opportunities to service the mining industry and wants to assist them to make a change.
“The biggest hurdle facing businesses is they don’t know how to communicate with the coal industry, they don’t understand the industry and where their business might fit in,” Fitzpatrick said.
It is this lack of knowledge Fitzpatrick is looking to address with a new charter within the chamber, The Singleton Argus reported.
Fitzpatrick is also part of the Enterprise Connect Coal Panel, an organisation which advises SMEs on how to tap into opportunities the coal industry provides.
“A strong local economy benefits everyone, it provides employment, it attracts experience and skill and gives our young people a strong, positive future,” he said.
“There is no way Singleton and the broader Hunter region is taking advantage of what the mining industry is giving us now, this is an opportunity to set this town up for life after mining.”
Next Tuesday’s meeting at Rio’s mine will include an address from the mine’s manager Cam Halfpenny.
There will also be a register for local businesses who are interested in taking a tour of the mine site.
“This is about opening up the dialogue and I admit, I am very passionate about this, I know what the mining industry has the potential to do for this town, it is not about me, it is about every single business in Singleton,” Fitzpatrick said.
“It is a change in focus for the chamber, I know that, but let’s face it, the industry is on our doorstep and we should be doing every single thing we can to make the most of the opportunity it provides and I am not talking about direct jobs, I’m talking about opportunities for everyone.”
To attend the meeting email firstname.lastname@example.org