Our Deputy Premier John Barilaro, made a return to the Singleton district this week, having virtually lived here during the latter stages of the Upper Hunter by-election.
This time he came to announce $108 million in state government funding to be spent on legacy or disbanded mine sites across the state.
Former governments and their policies were most probably the cause of these sites being 'abandoned' with taxpayers now left to foot the bill to rehabilitate these sites.
Some of these sites given the minerals and methods used to extract and process them are very toxic and it will be expensive and time consuming to rehabilitate them.
Now we can learn some lessons from these past mistakes. Number one don't let the operators and or owners of the mines simply walk away from the site until rehabilitation is complete.
Rehabilitation that is done well as they at best practice.
In the Hunter there will be 23 final voids - the massive holes in the ground left once open cut mining ceases. According to planning documents some of these holes are 300 metres in depth and cover more than 1000 hectares.
So they can't be left in the hope that one day they might fill with water and everything will be fine with water skiing and fishing.
Even if that was possible it would require a great deal of planning and money to achieve such a utopia.
Mining companies have previously said it is cheaper for them to do the rehabilitation work in a progressive manner which makes sense as the costs of the work increase year on year.
So as they mine we should be seeing rehabilitation work being undertaken in a timely manner.
This might well be happening and the community was promised a few years back from the NSW Resources Regulator real time images of this work.
Unfortunately such real time monitor and public access to all the information on rehab work has not improved at all despite the promises.
World class rehab work would be something for us to boast about, it is job creating, so why aren't we seeing it in 'real time'?
New mines and extensions to existing ones need to have this type of public access to their work as part of their approval conditions.