Calls to fast-track industrial manslaughter laws

The miners’ union has called on the Queensland Government to bring forward the passage of new laws extending industrial manslaughter offences to the state’s mining industry.

It comes in the wake of last week’s accident at Grosvenor coal mine. 

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth has written to Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham calling for the urgent progression and passing of the Mineral and Energy Resources and other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020. 

The new legislation would create a criminal offence where negligence contributes to the death of a mineworker.

It also brought mining into line with other industries where individual executives and managers faced jail time, said Mr Smythe.

The legislation made a requirement that any statutory safety positions such as Underground Deputy must be directly employed by the mine operator rather than employed as contractors.

It would bring the focus on safety rather than production, Mr Smythe said.

The laws were overdue and should be urgently passed in the wake of the shocking Grosvenor accident to further protect the state’s mineworkers, he said. 

“The Queensland Government has made a commitment to introducing these new laws and we can’t afford to wait any longer. 

“Queensland mineworkers deserve to have the strongest possible safety laws and regulations.”  

Four workers are in a critical condition in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital after an explosion in the underground mine near Moranbah a week ago.

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