Rescue Helicopter receives boost from miners

Rescue Helicopter receives boost from miners

On the same day that the NSW Minerals Council united with the Newcastle Knights to honour the role of more than 16,000 local miners, the community’s own Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service celebrated a new partnership with one of the region’s largest coal mines as Mt Arthur Coal became a Logo Rights Partner.

BHP Billiton's Mt Arthur Coal is the largest individual coal production site in the Hunter Valley and a number of Mt Arthur Coal employees and their families joined the Rescue Helicopter team to unveil the newest logo on the aircraft, before it flew into Hunter Stadium as part of a miners' appreciation day organised by the NSW Minerals Council.

Mt Arthur Coal employees donated $195,000 between July 2012 and June 2013 to the Rescue Helicopter through the payroll deduction program. Their generosity was then matched dollar for dollar by BHP Billiton through its Matched Giving Program.

BHP Billiton NSW Energy Coal Asset President, Peter Sharpe, said the company and its employees in the Hunter Valley appreciate the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

“The work done by the Rescue Helicopter is both valuable and essential and the mining industry in particular recognises the need for the proper tools and skills in an emergency situation, and the Service provides both,’ Peter said.

“The money donated this year brings the total raised for the service since 2009 by BHP Billiton's Hunter Valley employees to more than one million dollars.”

As part of its Voice for Mining campaign, the NSW Minerals Council teamed up with the Newcastle Knights to honour the role of more than 16,000 local miners. Mining companies' employees were offered free passes to the Newcastle Knights' game and encouraged to wear high visibility shirts to stand out in the crowd.

Rescue Helicopter Service General Manager, Richard Jones, said that miners of the region were a valued and long-standing part of the Service’s community.

“This sector contributes enormously to the region’s Rescue Helicopter and we are most humbled by the support of miners at BHP Billiton Mt Arthur Coal,” Richard said.

No one ever pays to be assisted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. That is because the people of this region give generously through payroll deduction, fundraising activities and sponsorship. Each year the Service assists more than 1,200 people across the Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, New England and North West regions.

Mt Arthur Coal is a large open cut coal mine located less than five kilometres from Muswellbrook. Wholly-owned by BHP Billiton, Mt Arthur Coal currently extracts approximately 16 million tonnes of thermal coal each year for domestic and export power generation.

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