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New leader for Association of Mining Related Councils

The Association of Mining Related Councils (AMRC) has a new chairman at its helm. The Mayor of Warrumbungle Shire Council, Peter Shinton was elected to the role, after Cr. Col Mitchell of Wollondilly Shire Council stood down. The continuing Deputy Chairs are Wollongong City Council Deputy Lord Mayor Cr. Chris Connor and long-time Cobar Shire Mayor, Cr Lilliane Brady.

In another change to the Association, Gunnedah Shire Mayor, Cr. Owen Hasler replaced Cr Sharon Wilcox of Cabonne's Shire on the Executive Committee.

With 23 member councils across NSW, the Association of Mining Related Councils (AMRC) is the peak representative body for mining affected councils in the State. Together, the councils represent over 20 percent of the land in NSW and close to 11 percent of the population. They contribute significantly to the State's economy and the Government’s revenue, through mining royalties.

The Association's new Chair is an experienced, trusted and familiar face. The State of NSW witnessed Cr Peter Shinton's leadership during and following the bushfire crisis that devastated his Shire. The Coonabarabran bushfire started in the Warrumbungle National Park on January 12, 2013 and over the following week, it burnt out more than 54,000 hectares, countless livestock and destroying 53 homes.

Cr Shinton has brought more than leadership qualities to the helm of Association. "As a former exploration geologist with experience across Australia, I am interested in all exploration and mining activities," he said. "Working with the talented executive team and being able to call upon the expertise of the member delegates and consultants will enable this Association to strengthen its role as the primary lobby group for councils being affected by mining activities throughout NSW."

"Under the tutelage of Cr. Col Mitchell and CEO Don Tydd over the past two years, the profile of the Association has been elevated. This has empowered  the Association to play a more strategic role in representing member councils, as well as resourcing and equipping them with the latest, holistic information on mining related issues."

In further responding to the needs for members, the Association will be conducting a Voluntary Planning Agreement Workshop in Sydney on 13 February 2015. This will incorporate the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure, together with the NSW Minerals Council.

"Voluntary Planning Agreements are important documents signed by local councils and mining companies. These VPAs address the effects that the mine will have and cover funding for vital infrastructure improvements, such as the upkeep or reconstruction of roads leading to the mines or airport upgrades, as well as social and community infrastructure," AMRC CEO Don Tydd said. "The AMRC has also formulated and adopted a CSG policy."

Cr. Mitchell, who chaired the Association for the past two years, said he was pleased with its recent progress. "As a constructive representative body, we now have a seat at the table and we are in a position to influence policy, consult with the mining sector and assist member councils," he said.

For further information on the AMRC, please go to: http://www.miningrelatedcouncils.asn.au/