Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Councillor Juliet Arkwright has expressed her disappointment in Boral’s decision to transition the Berrima Colliery to a ‘care and maintenance’ mode.
The transition effectively means that coal will no longer be mined from the colliery and some 30 local employees will subsequently be made redundant from the operations.
“First and foremost my thoughts go out to the employees who will be affected by the closure,” Councillor Arkwright said.
“The colliery has been a major employer for our district for almost 100 years,” Councillor Arkwright said. “Any job loss is regretful and will undoubtedly have significant impacts on both the immediate families affected and the greater Shire.”
“I understand that Boral’s national operations have experienced its fair share of challenges in recent times, not least the high value of the Australian dollar and the subsequent pressure to compete against imported material,” the Mayor said. “But I’m sure Boral gave considerable thought before they made the difficult decision to wind down operations.”
“I am however buoyed by Boral’s statement that they would work with Delta Mining to support those employees affected by their decision,” Councillor Arkwright added.
“I’m also heartened by their announcement that they are committed to its cement operations at the nearby Berrima Cement Works.
“We are of course concerned about their immediate future and ensuring their continued viability here in the Southern Highlands,” Councillor Arkwright said.
Boral has said instead of using coal from the Berrima Colliery they will start buying coal from third parties.
“We intend on following developments closely and will be keeping in close liaison with their Operations Manager, Mr Stuart Hutchings.”