Wednesday, 8 August, 2018

Bengalla Blue-on-White JPG

The Upper Hunter economic breakfasts will now be offered as a free event again thanks to a new partnership between Bengalla Mining Company and the HRF Centre at the University of Newcastle.

A gift from Bengalla each year over the next five years will support the Centre’s Upper Hunter economic indicators research program. The program includes the twice-yearly surveys of businesses and households, analysis of trends in key economic indicators, an array of engagement activities and the breakfast presentations and panel sessions.

The Upper Hunter economic breakfasts have been held twice a year in Muswellbrook since 2002. The series aims to build capacity in Upper Hunter businesses, social services, community organisations and schools. Offering the event free of charge is expected to make the breakfasts accessible to a wider audience, including small businesses, community groups, and secondary and tertiary students.

Thanking Bengalla for their contribution to the Upper Hunter region, Professor Will Rifkin, HRF Centre Director said:

“We welcome you as long-term partners in research and engagement on the Upper Hunter economy. Bengalla and the HRF Centre can now build the knowledge, connections, capacity and resilience of small businesses, households and community organisations in the region.”

“This program partnership enables Bengalla to boost its contribution to the community’s knowledge base and professional networks. Strengthening of the region’s ‘social capital’ will contribute to jobs, new businesses and a better future for the region’s young people.”

The HRF Centre reports on the results of its unique Upper Hunter Pulse surveys at the economic breakfast events. The surveys of 300 households and 300 businesses are conducted every six months in the Singleton, Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter Shires. The survey captures a range of economic and social data. The HRF Centre also analyses data from government and private sources to provide an overview of how families and businesses in the region are travelling.

Cam Halfpenny, CEO of Bengalla Mining Company, will join a panel discussion at the September Upper Hunter economic breakfast. The panel will discuss liveability, infrastructure and jobs in the Upper Hunter.

The HRF Centre looks forward to working with the Bengalla team, and their community partners, over the next five years, to help Upper Hunter communities to thrive.