Reviews underway after Sunday’s mining tragedies


After two mining tragedies on Sunday, reviews are underway on why mining and quarry deaths have occurred in Queensland over the past 20 years, and how to improve workplace safety.

The death of a worker on Sunday at Baralaba North coal mine west of Gladstone was the sixth death in Queensland mines in 12 months. There was a separate incident on the same morning at Collinsville open-cut coal mine that left a worker seriously injured.

A joint communiqué from Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham, the Queensland Resources Council, CCAA, CFMMEU and AWU said two independent reviews are now underway.

These will investigate:

  • Why mine workers have died over the past 20 years; how industry can improve and how the mines inspectorate can work better.
  • The effectiveness of state’s mining health and safety legislation.

An appointment of three additional mines inspectors and another chief inspector has been made.

The bodies said a safety reset will be implemented by the end of August for discussions between management, operational staff and relevant union representatives on risks and safe practice.

“We acknowledge that these resets will be tailored to the individual sites and their various rostering and operational requirements,” they said.

“These resets must cover all workers. The AWU and the CFMMEU will have discussions with their members on any other matters that need to be raised during this process.”