Tahmoor Colliery staff give back to fire-affected communities

Politicians meet with staff at Tahmoor Colliery.
Politicians meet with staff at Tahmoor Colliery.

The bushfires that hit the Wollondilly community at the end of 2019 and early 2020 caused devastating destruction to homes, businesses and wildlife.

The Green Wattle Creek blaze destroyed or damaged more than 30 properties in the shire.

The impact of these fires deeply resonated with the staff at the Tahmoor Colliery, SIMEC Group as many live or have family who live within the shire.

With an overwhelming desire to help in some small way, employees voted unanimously to support the Mayor's Bushfire Relief Fund through a payroll donation raising almost $16,000.

Tahmoor coking coal operations general manager Peter Vale said the mine's staff wanted to give back to the community they work in.

"While the mine has been operating for 40 years, it was felt this was one of the most severe challenges our community has faced," he said.

"The mine itself was under direct threat for several hours and we were ably assisted by local emergency services including the Rural Fire Service (RFS)."

Mr Vale said thanks to the professionalism of the local emergency services and the RFS, there was limited damage to the mine and SIMEC were able to resume operations several days later.

He said employees were grateful to the emergency services but they also realised many of the community were not so lucky.

"We are proud to be part of the community and hope our contribution helps in some small way to help Wollondilly rebuild as we look to the future," Mr Vale said.

In addition to the donations from the employees which added up to $15,600 over three months, SIMEC Group executive chairman and owner Sanjeev Gupta, visited the mine and local area with Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth on Christmas Eve and personally donated $250,000 to the Mayor's Relief fund.

Wollondilly Mayor Matthew Deeth expressed his heartfelt thanks on behalf of the Wollondilly community.

"We acknowledge that this is a very generous contribution which will provide much needed support for those who need our help during these stressful times," he said.

"SIMEC is one of our most significant local businesses so I am very pleased to see them make such an important gesture in support of local recovery.

"These are our neighbours and friends, and seeing employees make personal contributions over a number of months shows amazing community spirit and demonstrates why Wollondilly is an amazing place to live."