Australian Mining Cities Alliance Formed
Press Release 6 December 2017
The mayors of the mining towns of Mount Isa, Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Broken Hill are challenging bureaucracies to cut red tape and back development and jobs growth in regional Australia. The mayors announced the formation of an Australian Mining Cities Alliance (AMCA) at the annual Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) conference in Port Augusta. Alliance chair, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor, John Bowler, said the objective was to share knowledge and experience, and to strengthen relationships with the mining industry across Australia.
“Many Australian mining cities have long histories in mining and processing ores, and have generated great wealth over many decades,” Mayor Bowler said. “But when downtimes come, these same mining cities are often hit hard with people losing their jobs and businesses leaving town. “By tapping into our collective experience and by pooling resources, we can better address these sorts of challenges and pursue opportunities in a highly collaborative way.
“It is only early days, but I feel sure that mining cities across Australia will benefit greatly from this initiative in the years ahead.” Mount Isa Mayor, Joyce McCulloch represents the North-West Queensland Minerals Province, one of the largest of its kind in the world. Mayor McCulloch said it’s vital that regional Australia’s mining cities had a loud and united voice. “This Alliance has brought about an extraordinary level of collaboration between the three founding mayors,” Mayor McCulloch said. “We can only imagine what will be possible when other mining cities join us. “Our aim is to position the Alliance as a powerful educational and advocacy force. “Local councils are the voice of hundreds of local communities across Australia which are often dependent on a single large mining project or commodity. “If that employer or prospective new job-generating industry is impeded by bureaucratic delays and processes, it’s our communities, and our families, that pay the price.”
The Mayor of Broken Hill, Darriea Turley, said the Alliance would extend an open invitation to other councils and mining companies – big and small – to join the group and collaborate on campaigns. “The challenges and opportunities facing Broken Hill have much in common with other Australian mining cities,” Mayor Turley said. “Working together will undoubtedly help us to strengthen our respective futures. “The Alliance will prove vital in helping local governments diversify their economies, and create more vibrant societies in which families and individuals can build rewarding lives.”
Mayor Bowler said mining towns face a range of challenges including volatile commodity prices, the variable quality and capacity of mining companies, environmental impacts and lack of economic diversity. He said the Alliance would work to ensure that state/territory and federal government policies and processes protect jobs and enable new industries to set up and thrive in regional Australia. “There’s a whole range of policy and technical issues, from taxation to infrastructure to environmental approvals to the cost of air fares, that adversely affect our towns, but which someone developing policy in a distant capital may not fully comprehend as being critical,” Mayor Bowler said. “We’ll be working swiftly to finalise a work and research program so that we can start making a difference for our communities.”
The Alliance will be formally launched before the end of this year. To stay in touch with the Alliance, please visit the Alliance website to subscribe for updates: amca.org.au.
Please direct enquiries for further information to:
- Mayor of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, John Bowler – 0418 935 005
- Mayor of Broken Hill, Darriea Turley – 0429 848 480
- Mayor of Mount Isa, Joyce McCulloch – 0488 173 277
- AMCA Secretariat, Craig Wilson – 0414 741 791.
The three objectives of the Australian Mining Cities Alliance are to:
- progress the economic development of mining cities across Australia
- share experiences and know-how among the members of the Alliance
- improve state/territory and federal policy settings relating to mining cities
The idea of the Alliance took root at the 2014 SEGRA Conference in Alice Springs. Subsequent discussions agreed to provide a mechanism to propose, explore and document economic development strategies aimed at: ensuring resource optimisation; fostering economic consolidation; sustaining social capital; and embracing technological take-up.
These arguments were further made at the 2016 SEGRA Conference. In mid-2017 the Mayor of Kalgoorlie-Boulder wrote to the mayors of Mount Isa and Broken Hill inviting them to join him in helping to establish the Alliance. The three Mayors and their Councils then collaborated over the next several months to give legal and operational form to the Alliance ahead of the announcement of its creation on 26 October 2017. Following its legal establishment, the Alliance is moving to establish its organisational and membership systems. Once those systems are in place, the Alliance will then proceed to invite representation from other mining cities around the country as well as from the mining industry, other levels of government, and regional development organisations.