Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park again is calling on the Government to discuss the economic employment challenges of the Illawarra with Wollongong Coal today announcing a further 80 job losses in the region.

Mining operations at the Russell Vale Colliery will unfortunately be suspended resulting in a reduction of 80 employees from the Colliery.

“Today marks a very sad day for Wollongong Coal employees and their families. I will continue to work with Wollongong Coal to ensure employees’ best interests are kept a priority during this difficult time,” Mr Park said.

“Whilst I am saddened by this news and my thoughts are with those men and women who will soon be faced with employment uncertainty, I am determined to do all I can to prevent further job losses in our region,” he said.

“I have written to the Minister for Planning today urgently seeking a timeframe about when a decision will be made one way or another about the current expansion plans Wollongong Coal has submitted to the Government,” he said.

“I am very concerned, just last week we as a community were advised of the 500 job losses at BlueScope Steel and now a further 80 from Wollongong Coal. I am very aware of the pressure this will place on our local economy and I am urging the Government to start showing some real action,” he said.

Last week the Member for Keira attempted to have the economic concerns of the Illawarra debated in Parliament, however the Liberal MP’s voted against this motion.

“I am again calling on the Premier of NSW to discuss the economic employment challenges currently facing the Illawarra region. Now is the time for our Parliament to act, show leadership and ensure practical support for workers and their families,” he said.