The Queensland Government has undertaken to invest $25 million over two years into reforms to protect the health and safety of the state’s coal workers.
Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham made the commitment as the government’s response was tabled in Parliament to the Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Select Committee report no. 2—Inquiry into the re-identification of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in Queensland.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s focus has always been to eradicate this insidious disease that does not belong in the 21st century,” Dr Lynham said.
“As I told Parliament this week, we have worked tirelessly to rapidly implement significant reforms to date.
“We support all of the report’s 68 recommendations, particularly:
- the establishment of an independent regulator
- improved oversight and enforcement of respirable dust monitoring
- improved health arrangements and workers compensation and rehabilitation for workers .
“Our government will invest another $21.051 million over two years – this financial year and next – on top of our existing commitment of $3.737 million to achieve this.”
This work would occur in parallel with progress on the 18 Monash recommendations, he said.
Meanwhile the Queensland Mines Inspectorate says it has met with the owners of the coal mines that failed to comply with personal respirable dust monitoring obligations.
Glencore’s Oaky North and Oaky No.1 mines and Anglo American’s Moranbah North and Grosvenor sites were in Parliament in August as allegedly failing to meet their dust-monitoring obligations during the second quarter of this year.
“We are now satisfied that all four of the mines have met their requirements under the safety and health directives issued to them on Friday 11 August,” the Inspectorate said in a statement to iQ.
“The directives required each mine to review and address deficiencies in their safety and health management systems to ensure compliance with dust monitoring laws and prevent recurrence.
“Issuing directives and taking mines through a compliance process requires immediate response from the mine aimed at correcting the deficiency and changing behaviour. It requires the mine to focus its attention and resources on minimising risk to workers.”