SINGLETON Council’s submission for the federal government’s inquiry into the drive-in drive-out and fly-in fly-out concept is compelling reading.
There has always been a lot of talk about the impacts of mining and some of it reaches printed paper but this has previously been related to environmental or health impacts.
This is the first time issues like relationship stress, alcohol abuse and domestic violence has ever been mentioned in a report related to the social impacts of mining.
The submission delves into many aspects that hopefully will be considered at the inquiry.
In the past councillors have been told to write their own submissions to these sort of inquiries and some of them have.
However, this is the first time Singleton Council has lodged a submission on behalf of this community to such an inquiry and it tells the situation as it is.
The only way to address the issues is to first recognise that there are issues.
Singleton Council’s leap forward in this complex and challenging domain is with perfect timing.
The NSW Minerals Council Upper Hunter Dialogue that began last year has opened the doors of communication between industry and community.
Singleton Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also trying to bridge the gap between Singleton retailers and the business of mining.
There are issues that affect every resident in Singleton, miner and non-miner.
There are social issues that are impacting our children and family life, our sporting bodies and our community as a whole.
These are issues that can be addressed, once acknowledged.
One can only hope the panel members of this federal government inquiry read these submissions with a mandate to address what is revealed.
Congratulations to those involved in the council submission.
It’s not pretty reading but speaks the truth.
Sometimes we don’t like to admit what’s going on but this simple admission can be a turning point to a much brighter future for everyone involved.