Mining may send house prices rocketing in remote areas, but in the heart of the Hunter, a mine shaft a few hundred metres under the feet of homeowners isn’t a good thing.
Matthew Wilson of Professionals Morisset has the task of selling houses that are on top of the local Austar longwall coal mine. In fact, Mr Wilson’s own home is on land designated for excavation in Cessnock, which he is concerned will reduce his properties value.
“When the mine goes under, it’ll take probably another five years for the stigma to then lift, and you’d be able to get a real market price.”
Austar have refuted Mr Wilson’s claims. However Austar Mining didn’t respond when we tried to contact them.
Although he admits the mine will benefit growth in the area, it won’t offset the damage to the property market. The new mine will bring another 200 jobs to the area according to Mr Wilson, but that’s in an already thriving community.
“I don’t think that an influx of 200 to 250 people will change anything really. The huge rises in price come from townships of two or three thousand. We’re talking about an area with 20 to 30 thousand people, so there’s plenty of housing available.”
The mine was approved by the State Government, even after knowledge that that it would interfere with a local nature conservation.