The store vacated by Crazy Clark’s has been bought by Whitehaven Coal to become a regional office.
Moving in: Whitehaven Coal has bought the former Crazy Clark’s site in Conadilly Street.
Whitehaven, which has a strong presence in the Gunnedah area, announced yesterday it planned to open a new permanent office in the town, with about 30 staff on site.
The announcement comes on top of a strong financial move by the company to shore up its financial position by signing a $1.4 billion refinancing deal with a syndicate of local and international banks.
The agreement will see the mining company pay a lower interest rate on its borrowings.
Whitehaven Coal managing director and chief executive officer Paul Flynn said yesterday plans had been submitted to Gunnedah Shire Council for the new office.
“As a company with long-standing links to the Gunnedah area, we always seek to ensure that it is the local community that benefits from our presence over the short, medium and long-term,” Mr Flynn said.
“Thanks partly to the growth in mining, the region is thriving.
“As Whitehaven continues to grow, we believe opening an office in the heart of Gunnedah is the natural next step in integrating us further into the community.
“We look forward to introducing more members of the Whitehaven team to you, and to making it easier for members of the local community to access information about the company and its presence and plans in the area.”
He said the company planned to open the office before Christmas.
The office will be a public shopfront.
Gunnedah Shire Council mayor Owen Hasler said the company had raised the concept during council’s discussions with Whitehaven over the Vickery mine voluntary planning agreement.
“I’m pleased that the company saw Gunnedah as a good place to set up their operation rather than one of the other neighbouring LGA [local government area] towns,” Cr Hasler said.
“They will have a considerable staff and they obviously want to make a fairly visual presence.
“It will allow a much more convenient management of their operations. It is a very positive move.”
Mr Flynn has said the company’s new credit arrangement demonstarted Whitehaven’s “improved credit-worthiness and the increased confidence that lenders have in our growth plans and in our capacity to execute them ahead of expectation”.
Australia’s big four banks – the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and National Australia Bank – are all represented in the bank syndicate.
Their participation comes as a blow to anti-coal groups lobbying the major banks to cease support for fossil fuel companies.
Whitehaven Coal’s portfolio includes the $767 million Maules Creek mine near Boggabri, an open-cut mine at Werris Creek and an underground mine at Narrabri.
Mr Flynn said Whitehaven Coal’s goal was to become “Australia’s leading independent coal company”.
“We are on track to achieve this with our world class assets, which we expect will continue to deliver further improved performance following a strong first half,” he said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.