Lead­ers push for Gold­fields stopover

Kalgoorlie Miner - - FRONT PAGE - An­drew Bros­nan

Com­mu­nity and min­ing in­dus­try lead­ers have called on the Fed­eral Govern­ment to visit the Gold­fields dur­ing the draft­ing of a re­gional de­vel­op­ment pol­icy.

So far, no con­sul­ta­tion ses­sions have been sched­uled for the re­gion.

The Govern­ment plans to con­duct a “grass­roots” con­sul­ta­tion process in the re­gions to bet­ter un­der­stand lo­cal needs, but only Albany and Gin­gin have been in­cluded on the WA itin­er­ary.

O’Con­nor MP Rick Wil­son said he would “ab­so­lutely like to see” the Gold­fields in­cluded in the craft­ing of the doc­u­ment and joined City of Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der Mayor John Bowler in pledg­ing to in­vite As­sis­tant Min­is­ter to the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Michael McCor­mack to the re­gion.

Staff from the of­fice of Mr McCor­mack, who will be­gin the con­sul­ta­tion process next month, told the Kal­go­or­lie Miner yes­ter­day they were try­ing to sched­ule a visit to Kal­go­or­lieBoul­der.

The new re­gional de­vel­op­ment pol­icy, an­nounced by Deputy Prime Min­is­ter War­ren Truss yes­ter­day, will out­line the long-term vi­sion for re­gional Aus­tralia.

Mr Truss said dis­cus­sions would put re­gional ar­eas, in­clud­ing in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties, “firmly in the driver’s seat”.

“More of­ten than not, the op­por­tu­ni­ties and so­lu­tions iden­ti­fied at the lo­cal level to meet lo­cal needs are the best,” he said.

Mr Bowler said he was pleased the Govern­ment was look­ing at a new pol­icy for re­gional Aus­tralia, but he wanted to see the Gold­fields in­cluded.

“I’ll be writ­ing to the min­is­ter and ask­ing him to come here,” he said.

Al­though north­ern WA has been left off the con­sul­ta­tion itin­er­ary to date, Mr Wil­son said it had re­ceived “mas­sive in­vest­ment” and he was keen to see the spot­light shone on the south­ern part of the State.

“I would ab­so­lutely like to see the Gold­fields in­cluded in Min­is­ter McCor­mack’s visit to WA and I have ex­tended a per­sonal in­vi­ta­tion to the min­is­ter to visit Kal­go­or­lie to meet with re­gional de­vel­op­ment-type stake­hold­ers,” he said.

As­so­ci­a­tion of Min­ing and Ex­plo­ration Com­pa­nies chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon Ben­ni­son de­scribed the Gold­fields as a min­ing hub that “should def­i­nitely be in­cluded in the dis­cus­sions” for the Govern­ment’s pol­icy.

His com­ments were echoed by Cham­ber of Min­er­als and En­ergy WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Reg HowardSmith, who said the views of re­source-rich towns needed to be taken into ac­count.

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