Mine death prompts report call
A worker’s death has increased pressure on the Queensland Government to release the findings of two mine safety reviews.
A 33-year-old worker died over the weekend after reportedly becoming trapped in machinery at a central Queensland coal mine.
Workplace safety officials are now investigating the cause of his death – the eighth mining fatality in Queensland in the last two years.
The state’s LNP opposition has accused the Labor government of keeping crucial information about the safety of mines covered.
“Last July, Labor announced two separate independent reviews into Queensland's mine safety and these were meant to be finalised at the end of the year, but they're yet to be released,” Shadow Mines Minister Dale Last said this week.
“The [Mines] Minister [Anthony Lynham] needs to explain why they've been delayed.”
Dr Lynham says the findings will be tabled when parliament resumes in February.
After the November death of Brad Duxbury, 57, at Carborough Downs, also in central Queensland, the Queensland Government announced it would to create industrial manslaughter laws that carry a maximum 20-year sentence for company heads and fines of up to $10 million for firms found to have been negligent.
This has still not happened, and the state’s LNP has called for a parliamentary inquiry to fast-track any legislative changes.
“It's absolutely crucial Queensland learns lessons from these tragedies, otherwise more lives are on the line,” Mr Last said.
The man who died on Sunday was a Thiess mining company employee, and reports say mining operations have been suspended as the state's mines inspectorate investigates the incident.
“Our thoughts are with the family of the worker, colleagues, and the local community,” a spokesperson for the inspectorate said.
The mining union has also sent safety officers to the Curragh site.
“Our hearts go out to family, friends and loved ones,” CFMEU Queensland president Stephen Smyth said in a statement.
“This is a terrible start to 2020. The industry must redouble efforts to end the tragic loss of life in our mines.”