Matt Canavan speaking at Hunter Coal Festival in April

INDUSTRY ADVOCATE: Queensland National Party Senator Matt Canavan in question time late last year in parliament. FEDERAL Resources Minister Matt Canavan andGlencore executive Peter Freyberg are theguest speakers at a mining leaders’ lunch on the first day of this year’sHunter Coal Festival.

Senator Canavan –one of a number of federal parliamentarians caught up in the dual citizenship saga –has maintained his support for the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland at a time when other politicians have had a change of heart.

Singleton Business Chamber president Sue Gilroy said the mining leaders’ lunch at Club Singleton had attracted two powerful speakers.

“Senator Canavan is a senior and very important figure in the Turnbull Government,” Ms Gilroy said. “He has direct involvement in government decisions and policies and is a strong advocate for regional employment and economies.

“Likewise as head of Glencore’s global coal assets, Peter Freyberg is one of the most important men in the coal industry. His insight into the state of the coal industry – both in Australia and world-wide – should be of vital interest to anyone who has an involvement in the mining industry.”

The festival kicks off with the lunch on Friday, April 6, with a broad program of of social and mining-related events to followuntil Sunday, April 15.

Previous festivals were held in 2015 and 2016 and Ms Gilroy said this year’s program would be a “celebration of the co-existence between community and the mining industry” under the banner of“community + co-existence + innovation + education”.

Ms Gilroy said the social side of the festival included a touch football competition, a community day and street parade in Singleton on Saturday, April 7, followed the next day by a mountain bike race –the Kurri Coalface Pedal –to raise money for the Westpac rescue helicopter.

On the second weekend, Singleton Civic Precinct will play host to the Singleton Firelight Festival on Saturday, April 14, with a charity golf day at Singleton Golf Club on Sunday, April 15.

NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee will speak at industry breakfasts in Singleton onMonday, April 9, and at Muswellbrook the following day.

Mr Galilee applauded the festival on Tuesday, saying it was “a fantastic community event that we are proud to support”.

“The Hunter coal industry has been doing well over the last twelve months with more local activity and more jobs, so it’s a good time to celebrate and support everyone in our local mining industry and the contribution they make to the Hunter and to NSW,” Mr Galilee said.

Full details are available at the festival website.