Hunter mine HVO starts 2023 with new community partnerships

Hunter mine HVO starts 2023 with new community partnerships

Hunter Valley Operations (HVO) has started 2023 with new partnerships and funding to support local charities and community initiatives.

Five of the company’s mining trucks have started work for the mine and for five local organisations.

The trays of the trucks have been painted in the colours of Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, Hunter Prostate Cancer Alliance, Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation, Type 1 Foundation and Singleton Family Support.

The charities will get an agreed donation for every load the trucks haul, paid annually, plus funds from other events throughout the year.

Last month HVO General Manager, Tony Morris joined Member for Upper Hunter – Dave Layzell, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Upper Hunter Community Liaison Officer, Danny Eather, Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation CEO, Abbey McDonell, Hunter Prostate Cancer Alliance CEO, Alex Sovechles and HVO staff to unveil the first three trucks at HVO North mine.

Tony said the Hunter-based charities were chosen because they make a positive difference to the health and welfare of HVO employees, their families, and the community.

He said HVO wanted to extend its charity and community support in a meaningful way. Better aligning operations and community support is part of HVO’s new pillars and values – think sharp, dig in and care.

“We want to build partnerships with each charity that includes sharing information about their services with our workforce and undertaking other fundraising, and support activities for them throughout the year,” Tony said.

“While some partners are new, we’ve had a 20-year partnership with Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service largely through workplace giving by our generous employees.

“HVO has provided $1.1 million over that time to help the service to save lives of Hunter people. We’ve also been an ongoing supporter of Singleton Family Support.”

Tony said the new trucks are part of a half a billion-dollar investment that HVO are making in capital equipment over five years to improve efficiency and provide staff with the right tools to get the job done.

He explains that the new trucks are more fuel efficient, have a larger capacity, are quieter and provide better amenity for operators than the older fleet.

“We’re bringing nine new trucks online in 2022 with five more arriving next year. Six new excavators arrived this year with two more arriving in 2023.”

“We’ll have four new motor graders by the end of the year and 11 new dozers will arrive next year. Over the five years we’re bringing in other new equipment, technology, and systems as part of a $2 billion overall investment.”

He said while the machines are important to the business, the investment reflects HVO’s long term commitment to the region, jobs, and local communities.

“Modern equipment reduces our impacts in relation to noise and fuel use, which is good news for the operation, our people, the broader community and the environment.”

Meanwhile, HVO continues its other charity and community support. Last month it provided more than $51,000 to eight Hunter Valley organisations through the second round of its 2022 Community Grants program.

Before Christmas it distributed 200 billy carts, toy kitchenettes and wildlife nesting boxes made by staff as a team building exercise at HVO’s most recent companywide training days.

The toys were distributed to Hunter kids through the Samaritans and Singleton Family Support and to families impacted by flooding in Central West NSW with the Salvation Army.

The nesting boxes will be used at the Singleton Community Garden as well as by Hunter Wildlife Rescue across the Upper Hunter as well as in Lake Macquarie and at the Shortland Wetlands Centre.

Several staff donated back their Christmas gift vouchers from HVO, with HVO matching their generosity. More than $5,000 in vouchers went to Upper Hunter people in need through the Salvation Army in Singleton and Singleton family Support.

St Vincent de Paul Singleton distributed food items placed by HVO staff under Christmas trees at the mine’s offices.

Tony said plenty of people are doing it tough because of natural disasters and cost of living pressures, turning to community support agencies for help.

“We are grateful for the support we receive from the community and always look to support our community wherever we can. Community support agencies such as Vinnies, the Salvos, Samaritans and Singleton Family Support do a great job – they deserve our thanks and support too.”

IMAGE | HVO General Manager, Tony Morris with Upper Hunter MP, Dave Layzell

Hunter Valley Operations

Hunter Valley Operations operates the HVO South and HVO North open cut coal mines north of Singleton. Its 1,200 plus strong workforce mines some of the world’s highest quality thermal coal as well as metallurgical coal. HVO is proposing to extend its operations to 2050. This will support around 1,500 ongoing local jobs and continue support for local businesses, charities and community infrastructure and projects.

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