The review, ordered by the State Government following a spate of mine deaths, condemned the resource sector for overseeing an unsafe working environment that would likely cost another 12 lives over the next five years. Photo: Zizi Averill
The review, ordered by the State Government following a spate of mine deaths, condemned the resource sector for overseeing an unsafe working environment that would likely cost another 12 lives over the next five years. Photo: Zizi Averill

Secret reports reveal scale of mine safety concerns

MINE workers have demanded the safety watchdog react to dangerous on-site conditions reported through a new confidential reporting process.

In the seven months since the August mine safety resets, the inspectorate has received 134 complaints from mines and quarries across Queensland - more than in 2018-19.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the inspectorate expected the number of complaints to nearly double by the end of this financial year.

"The increase in confidential complaints shows the safety resets are working by encouraging mine and quarry workers to report anything they feel is a potential safety risk," Dr Lynham said.

Mines minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the inspectorate expected the number of complaints to nearly double by the end of the 2020 financial year. Photo: Sarah Marshall
Mines minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the inspectorate expected the number of complaints to nearly double by the end of the 2020 financial year. Photo: Sarah Marshall

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There were increases across all sectors and he said the largest was from coal mines as workers highlighted concerns about safety and health.

The reporting changes follow the release of a damning report of Queensland mining deaths - the Brady Review.

The review was ordered following a spate of mine deaths.

It condemned the sector for an unsafe work environment that would likely cost 12 more lives in the next five years.

Dr Lynham said the mining regulator was committed to implementing a raft of safety recommendations, including additional incident reporting measurements, searching and identifying concerning trends in incidents and a new incident reporting system.

"Queensland now has the toughest mining laws in the planet, and there is more to come,"

Dr Lynham said.

"We have listened, we enacted the safety reset and we have actioned changes.

"At the end of the day, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our 53,000 mine and quarry workers.

Last financial year the inspectorate did 76 audits and 1015 inspections - with 21 per cent unannounced.



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