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Government must stand with Greymouth and defend Spring Creek

September 4, 2012
Media Release

Government must stand with Greymouth and defend Spring Creek

The Government must stand with Greymouth and ensure Solid Energy’s Spring Creek mine remains open, says the miners’ union, the EPMU.

The call follows today’s community ‘March for Work’ in Greymouth, which saw 1000 turn out in the rain to save Spring Creek and secure a future for the town.

EPMU West Coast organiser Garth Elliott says today’s march sent a clear message to the Government that it needs to step in and help save Spring Creek.

“The support from the community today has been humbling, and it shows this campaign is about more than jobs, it’s about the future of our town.

“What we’re calling for is simple. Solid Energy and the Government cannot be allowed to abandon Greymouth.

“This community has built and sustained New Zealand’s mining industry, and it deserves a bit more loyalty than to be dumped on the scrapheap the moment Solid Energy finds itself in a bit of difficulty.

“We know coal prices go up and down. That’s how it’s always been. You share the good times with the bad and the community endures.

“But what Solid Energy’s proposing here has nothing to do with that. What they’re proposing is to throw a whole community on the scrap heap because coal prices have taken a short term dip.

“It isn’t right, and it isn’t fair. And the government needs to step in and show some support for the people of Greymouth.

The EPMU is also calling on Solid Energy to bring the union into its review on the future of the mine.

“We’re determined to save these jobs,” says Garth Elliott, “and that means we need to be part of the review, not just given an ultimatum from the company after it’s already too late.

“This afternoon we will be formally writing to Solid Energy CEO Don Elder to request the involvement of the union in the review process.”

Spring Creek miners will now meet to plan the next stage of the campaign.

Today’s march was also supported by Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn, West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor and Pike River families spokesperson Bernie Monk.


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