New mines inspectors will hit the beat at several regional centres across the state to help protect mine workers.
Acting Mines Minister Mark Ryan said the four new recruits have boosted the ranks of the state’s coal and metalliferous mine and quarry inspectors to 46.
“The safety and the health of our 70,000 resource workers is paramount and our mine inspectors need to be close to where the mines are,” Mr Ryan said.
“Two out of three of our inspectors are in regional Queensland because that’s where most of the mines are.”
Mr Ryan said the new inspectors came with strong mining engineer credentials and including a combined 122 years of mining experience between them.
“Our resources industry is world-class and this demands strong, contemporary skills from our inspectors to work with industry and workers to enhance safety,” Mr Ryan said.
The inspectors are due to begin their roles in the coming fortnight with two starting at Rockhampton on January 20 and February 3, one inspector in Mackay and one in Mt Isa whom are both starting on February 3.
Mr Ryan said the newcomers joined a team of mines inspectors that serviced mines and quarries from Cape York in Far North Queensland to the south-east corner and west to the Northern Territory border.
“Having most of our inspectors in the regions gives workers and the industry more efficient access to our inspectors and more inspectors to help keep our mine and quarry works safe,” Minister Ryan said.
“That’s critical to implementing this Government’s current and upcoming health and safety reforms.”
Those reforms include:
- Better detection and prevention of black lung, and an improve safety net for affected workers.
- Increased maximum penalties and powers for the regulator powers to issue fines without going to court.
- Statewide safety reset sessions mine and quarry workers to refocus on health and safety
- $35 million to deliver reforms to improve the safety and health of our mine workers
- a commitment to tighter controls on mine dust levels
- Legislation to go to Parliament this year make industrial manslaughter an offence, as it is in other Queensland workplaces
- Legislation already before the Parliament to establish an independent resources health and safety authority.
- Potential further reforms to flow from two independent reviews to be tabled in the first 2020 sitting of Parliament next month.