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7 June 2001

NSW Budget targets mining investment

The NSW Government’s $43.5 million budget funding for the NSW Department of Mineral Resources will ensure the State continues to attract investment and exploration, the Minister for Mineral Resources, Eddie Obeid said recently.

Mr Obeid welcomed the $1.9m increase in funding.

This budget increase will ensure the Carr Government’s $30 million, seven-year Exploration NSW initiative will now begin its second stage."

"The Carr Government is providing $5 million in this budget for the Exploration NSW program which will stimulate mining and petroleum exploration, investment and jobs in NSW."

"Exploration NSW is good news for regional NSW. Broken Hill, Lightning Ridge, New England, Cobar, Bourke and the Central West communities will all benefit from this initiative."

This includes:
· $1m for research into petroleum surveys of the State’s Far West,
· $500,000 for mineral exploration in the Cobar region,
· $500,000 for exploration of the Central West region
· $300,000 for airborne geophysical surveys of the New England area and
· $200,000 to further investigate Lightning Ridge opal fields.

The safety of our State’s mine and quarry workers remains a priority," Mr Obeid said.

This budget highlights the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to mine safety with a further $3.2m for better mine safety programs. This includes $500,000 for prosecutions for breaches of the NSW government’s strict occupational health and safety laws. This is part of the Government’s $14m safety initiative, which is now in its fourth year.

An extra $1.6m has been allocated for the NSW Government’s ongoing program to rehabilitate derelict mine sites which protects the environment and the community.

This enhances a $2.8 million grant from the Environmental Trust for rehabilitation work at sites near Inverell, Cobar, the Blue Mountains and Barraba.

Exploration research will benefit from $164,000 funding for a new purpose built drill core truck. This vehicle will be used to transport core samples from the field to the Department of Mineral Resource’s Core Library at Londonderry.

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