Lithgow City Council has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcements – made in the lead-up to the 2023 state elections and repeated this week – that they will establish Future Jobs & Investment Authorities in coal-producing regions. 

There will be an authority for the Central West’s coal mining local government areas of Lithgow City and Mid-Western Regional (Mudgee), as well as other coal mining regions.

The authorities will be tasked to create jobs, advance economic diversification and, where necessary, re-skill workers. The authorities will also work with the Commonwealth Government’s Net Zero Authority to support workers, industries and communities to seize transformational opportunities.

Mayor Statham said, “Lithgow City Council welcomes the Government’s continued commitment to establishing an authority in Lithgow to support our regional economy as it transforms into the future. We know the coal sector is changing. In Lithgow’s case, the same is also the case for the power sector. In Lithgow, these activities are dependent on each other and together account for around 43% of the City’s economy. It will not be an easy task to offset this value, but the best chance we have of doing so is by starting now.”

Mayor Statham added, “Historically, in Australia and world-wide, governments have tried to address the great challenge of diversifying coal community economies too late, when the industries have closed. We must ensure this failed approach isn’t followed for Lithgow. For that purpose, the State Government and Lithgow City Council commissioned and have now received a blueprint for what needs to be done and when. The Lithgow Emerging Economy Plan (LEEP) has tangible actions – some of which need to be implemented by as early as January next year. We also have a coalition of key local actors ready to partner with Council and other levels of government. There have been positive discussions with the major companies (Centennial Coal and EnergyAustralia), Western Sydney University, other private sector businesses, local schools and the community. All these actors are ready and raring to play their part in our City’s economic journey.”

“We have responded to the strong mandate from the community to ensure that Lithgow grows and thrives into the future, even as our local mining and power generation industries experience change. Minister Penny Sharpe is right when she acknowledges, on behalf of the NSW Government, that it is vital to take action now to ensure these communities continue to grow and prosper. So, we need more than roundtable discussions. These discussions already occurred during the development of the State Government’s Lithgow Emerging Economy Plan. It’s time we all started getting to work. The NSW Government’s September budget provides a great opportunity for the NSW Government to turn these statements of commitment into real action.”

Need to know more about the Lithgow Emerging Economy Plan –