2019 Orana Mining Energy & Transport Industry Forum

On the 13th of June 2019, RDA Orana host the first Orana Mining, Energy & Transport Industry Forum at Lazy River Estate in Dubbo.

The one-day Mining and Resources conference was a first for the region. With the Orana on the cusp of a major construction boom the forum was the perfect chance for business owners and managers to hear about the supply plans and gain understanding of the opportunities available to them.

The day was filled with 16 outstanding speakers covering over $3 billion worth of project updates.

The event came about in response to business feedback as a resource region, despite the 12 mines that sit around the region (and six in development), here at RDA Orana we found businesses were not aware of all the projects coming their way.

RDA Orana Chairman John Walkom said in his Chairman Address “without a doubt in this region this is our time, now is the time to be thinking globally but acting locally.”

Session 1: Mining

The first session of the morning was Mining, designed to highlight the opportunities in the Orana mining sector.

Steve Archinal

The first speaker of the day was Steve Archinal General Manager for Moolarben Coal. Steve provided an overview of the Moolarben Coal Operations located approximately 40km north of Mudgee. The Moolarben Coal Mine is a joint venture owned 85% by Yancoal Australia, 10% by Sojitz and 5% by Korean consortium, covering approximately 7000 hectares, with a workforce of 750 direct employees and contractors. Steve also covered the key concerns for the local community including noise, air quality, water, visual, traffic and property prices. Steve finished his presentation by discussing recruitment challenges, attracting people to live and work in the area and the importance of traineeships, apprenticeships and work experience for school leavers.

View Steve’s full presentation by completing the form at the bottom of the page.

Ross Carter

Ross Carter Business Advisor for Austmine was the second speaker for the Mining Session discussing benefits to business working with Austmine and the AustIndustry EP Program. Firstly discussing the importance of the Mining Engineering, Technology & Services (METS) sector for the future, that’s driven by innovation which in turn will be essential for improvement in the Mining Industry.

Ross also echoed Steve’s concerns about recruitment and workforce development with school leavings not opting into mining or MET courses/ degrees because of the uncertainty in the industry especially coal.  Ross finished his presentation with the Austmine Entrepreneurs Program available to SME businesses operating in key industry sectors. The program is the Federal Government’s flagship program providing 1-1 business support with no coast to participate.

View Ross’s full presentation by filling out the form at the bottom of the page.

Michael Sutherland

Mike Sutherland General Manager for Alkane Resources was the final speaker for the Mining Session, covering Alkane’s projects in the Orana region particularly the Dubbo Project. The Dubbo Project is approved and construction ready with the finance effort continuing, and with the China-US trade war creating global supply uncertainty this is a potential advantage for the project. The Tomingley Gold underground operations are expected to commence from September 2019 and exploration in Peak Hill has uncovered a long corridor of mineralisation with open cut and underground targets.

View Mike’s full presentation by filling out the form at the bottom of the page.

Session 2: Energy

The Energy Session came about as the renewable energy sector is a booming industry, with over 10 major wind and solar energy projects proposed for the Orana region alone, the speakers discussed opportunities in the region and how businesses can improve their practices for the future.

Mark Glover

Mark Glover is the Director & CEO of Renewed Carbon opening the Energy Session with Renewed Carbon’s work around Biomass and the development of the Cobar Bio Hub. The BioHub is a regional biomass processing facility for vegetation, that receives the invasive native species vegetation harvested from surrounding agricultural land. It then processes this into goods for sale and export including high quality timber products, essential oils, biochar and reductant with the bioproduct also generating 3-5MW of surplus energy.

View Mark’s presentation by filling out the form at the bottom of the page.

Ashley Bland

Ashley Bland Managing Director of Constructive Energy started his presentation with discussion around the unplanned market-led transformation that has resulted in chaotic, inefficient change, legacy network constraints, uncertainty, profiteering and lost fortunes and predicting that the electricity grid will be 50% renewable by 2025. Ashley also covered the move from uncertainty in coal to renewable and battery power, and predicting that community grids will be popular in the future.

View Ashley’s presentation by filling out the form at the bottom of the page.

David Hoffmann

The final speaker for the Energy Session David Hoffmann Project Officer for Energy Management at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. David discussed ways to reduce energy use for businesses. The main processes being tracking, monitoring, understanding and improving all aspects of energy use within an organisation and finding a balance between energy supply, energy efficiency and productivity.

David said by implementing energy management programs, organisations can save up to 20% on their energy bill and achieve further savings up to 5-10% with minimal investment which in turn cuts down operating costs for local businesses. David finished his presentation with the services the OEH offer to assist business with this energy saving including free training for small business, EnMS benchmark and support for manufacturers, and small business coaching.

View David’s full presentation by filling out the form at the bottom of the page.

Session 3: Transport

The Transport Session was planned because the opportunities in the Transport sector are rapidly expanding, with billions of dollars being invested by all levels of government for projects across the Orana region over the next 5 years.

Peter Katz

Peter Katz Director of Momentum Trains opened the Transport Session for the day. Providing a project overview of the $2.8 billion contract assigned to Momentum Trains in 2019 to deliver the Regional Rail Fleet Project. Peter addressed the history of the retiring fleet with the first of the XPT fleet was built over 40 years ago in 1981. Now the opportunities are available for subcontractors over the next 3 to 4 years, with 50 to 60 full time jobs being created during construction and an additional 50 to 60 ongoing maintenance jobs being made available for the following 15 or so years.

Peter also covered what how Momentum Trains was created with the combination of 3 companies, CAF, UGL and CPB for this specific contract. CBP will build the maintenance facility, CAF will perform the train completion works after they arrive from initially being built in Spain and UGL will then provide ongoing maintenance for 15 years or more.

The construction of the project is expected to commence at the beginning of 2020 with opportunities for civil works, building works and rail works to name a few.

See the full list of opportunities for this project and how to submit an Expression of Interest by downloading Peter’s presentation via completing the form at the bottom of the page.

Jacki Parish

Jacki has been the Dubbo Airport Operations Manager for the last 18 months, taking on the role during a period of much growth and excitement for the airport with over 18 projects worth over $43 million in planning, underway or completed in that period.

Jacki discussed the array of projects currently at the airport focusing on Capital Projects including General Aviation, Aeromedical Facilities, Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Expansion, the NSW RFS Training Academy and the NSW Police Force Education and Training Facility. Jacki also touched on job creation and the availability of positions with 30 new full time jobs being created by the RFS Training Academy alone.

View Jacki’s full presentation by filling out the form at the bottom of the page.

Azaria Dobson & Murray Woods

Azaria Dobson and Murray Woods from the NSW Premier and Cabinet provided a project overview of the NSW Government’s Special Activation Precincts (SAP). The first SAP was announced in the Orana’s neighbouring region of Parkes, with the NSW Government commissioning a business case. The SAPs are designed to adopt a place-based solution to economic development and are being delivered through the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund. SAPs will support targeted engine industries that will vary by location to match the competitive advantages of each precinct. The five elements of a Special Activation Precinct include:

  • Fast track planning- creating faster and simplified planning and approval processes so businesses can set up soon
  • Infrastructure investment- the NSW Government will tailor infrastructure investment to support local needs
  • Government-led studies- expert studies that will confirm the types of governance and private investment needed to create a thriving Special Activation Precinct
  • Government-led development- depending on the region’s local needs, the NSW Government may look to activate land to ensure positive social and economic outcomes in the Precinct.
  • Business Concierge- the NSW Government has established a customer-based service to help businesses set up and thrive in the Precincts.

View the full presentation by filling out the form at the bottom of the page.

Kristy Hartwig

Wrapping up the Transport Session was Kristy Hartwig for the NSW Department of Road and Maritime Services (RMS) $195 million Building a Better Dubbo Project. This project incorporates highway and road intersection upgrades, a new bridge, bridge maintenance, road rehab and safety improvements with works expected to run from 2018 to 2025.

Kristy covered why RMS are undertaking the projects including improving safety and travel efficiency, supporting economic growth, reducing traffic congestion, supporting freight movement and providing alternative routes during flood events to build a better Dubbo. Kristy also explained how RMS are facing the challenge of showing road users, stakeholders and the Dubbo community the long-term benefits which includes having 5 separate project managers and community consultation and displays in strategic locations for everyone to view.

View Kristy’s full presentation by completing the form at the bottom of the page.

Session 4: Business Support & DAMA

Clair Sykes

Clair Sykes General Manager of International Markets for METS Ignited was the first speaker for the Business Support Session. Discussing the role and focus of METS Ignited, which is one of six industry growth centres who are front and centre of the Australian Government Innovation Policy. Clair provided an economic snapshot of the METS and mining sector in Australia which supports 1.1 million jobs, is 15% of GDP and 66% of METS companies are in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia.

METS Ignited focus is to help METS firms enhance the design of their businesses for the most effective application of a full suite of analytics and automation technologies in their customer operations. Clair also touched on the importance of engaging students with the METS sector like Ross and Steve earlier in the day.

View Clair’s full presentation by completing the form at the bottom of the page.

Professor Alan Broadfoot

Speaker and sponsor Professor Alan Broadfoot Director of the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) and Chair of the NSW Energy and Resources Knowledge Hub mainly discussed the Energy and Resources Knowledge Hub. Emphasising the importance of competitive advantage for business,

“one of the biggest competitive advantages you can have is knowledge… knowing what to access, access to government funds and different organisations.”

This is the aim of the Energy and Resources Knowledge hub to deliver programs to create shared value and drive innovation. Further Professor Broadfoot discussed how the Hub has over 400 researchers available to members to focus on solving growth problems for their businesses.

The overall focus of the hub though is about growing NSW businesses by connecting them to a powerful network, that provides them the support and resources needed to thrive in their local region and be globally competitive. Professor Broadfoot also highlighted that the Energy and Resources sector is the key to wealth for this state.

View Professor Broadfoot’s full presentation by completing the form at the bottom of the page.

Michael Reznikov

Michael Reznikov Associate Director for Business Development NSW and ACT at EFIC discussed the services that EFIC can provide to Australian businesses. “Now is the time of the day to pull things together, bringing the world here creates opportunity for businesses to go out and grab them, but going out and getting them always needs money,” which is where EFIC comes in as the Australian Government’s export credit agency. Operating on a commercial basis, EFIC works with banks to deliver solutions to help companies take on global opportunities. Michael covered business types who EFIC can help including direct exporters (product or serve), export supply chain businesses and businesses expanding overseas.

View Michael’s full presentation by completing the form at the bottom of the page.


The final presentations of the day were from RDA Orana Director of Regional Development Megan Dixon and the Department of Home Affairs about the new Orana DAMA agreement. Current information about the DAMA can be found HERE.

To download all the presentations from the 2019 Orana MET Industry Forum please complete the form below and they will be sent directly to your inbox!

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