Festival of coal gets fired-up support

THE Hunter Coal Festival has been officially launched and already it has drawn a fairly heavyweight industry sponsor.

Noel Dyson

The two-week festival of the black firestones will run from March 12 to 29 and will be held across Singleton, Muswellbrook and surrounding regions. Organised by the Singleton Business Chamber, it aims to celebrate the role and contribution of the mining industry to the Hunter Valley community.

The New South Wales Minerals Council has thrown its support behind the festival.

NSW Mineral Council CEO Stephen Galilee said it was great to see the broad support for the festival with the Muswellbrook and Singleton shire councils and associated chambers of commerce “all working together to celebrate all the good things that mining brings to the region.

“The mining communities of the Hunter are going through some tough times,” he said.

“However, mining does have a strong future in the Hunter and this festival is just the sort of initiative our hard-working miners and supplier businesses will appreciate.”

The festival was launched at the Singleton Diggers Club.

Hunter Coal Festival chairman Peter Eason said the festival would incorporate a program of community and industry events.

These will include the inaugural Hunter Mining Show, a street parade, concerts, sporting events, school debates, information sessions and an industry racing carnival at the Muswellbrook Race Club.

Eason said the festival gave stakeholders, businesses and the community a chance to gain insights, interact and get to know and understand everyone’s diverse interests.

“We all understand the impacts of mining but the achievements are often kept in the shadow,” he said.

“The festival offers an opportunity for a loud shout out from the community – which is just the shot in the arm the industry needs right now.”