The mining downturn has eased the accommodation crisis in many areas and often freed up van park sites for grey nomads and other travellers, but there are still pressures in some places.
In the New South Wales town of Condobolin, for example, a growing mining presence and a lack of short-term accommodation has meant purpose-built miners’ cabins will be constructed at a local caravan park.
With its Mineral Hill operations expanding, KBL Mining had originally planned to build more housing at its mine, about 60 kilometres north of Condobolin, but Lachlan Shire Council was keen to have the financial benefits flow more directly into the town. Now, following a deal between the two, six three-bedroom cabins able to accommodate 15 people will be erected at the Riverview Caravan Park on land that was not previously being used. There will also a community room, complete with washing machines, drier, television, fridge and a seating area.
“KBL will now have an influx of workers as they ramp up in their construction phase (Stage 2),” Director of Environment and Planning, Andrew Johns, told the Condobolin Argus. “Initially the mine was going to build on site, but that would have meant the leaking of thousands of dollars away from Condobolin.”
Mr Johns insisted that workers staying at the caravan park would be expected to behave in a manner that was in accordance with KBL’s strict code of conduct.
“This partnership is a win for the mine and for the community,” he said. “Another positive is that once the cabins are complete, workers will not take up caravan park cabins that could be utilised by tourists.”
The Riverview Caravan Park is located on the banks of the Lachlan River within easy walking distance of the town’s facilities. It offers shaded powered and unpowered sites to fit even the largest rig.