Mine safety committee back on track after deaths

 

AFTER it was revealed that the recent spate of mining deaths occurred after crucial safety committee hadn't been able to meet for months because it failed to meet its gender quota, a solution has been found.

Meanwhile, Queensland mines could be shut down for up to four days to allow shift workers the chance to take part in a "reset" following a spate of mining deaths.

The Courier-Mail can exclusively reveal Bobbie Foot and Kylie Ah Wong have been appointed to the Coal Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee and will receive their appointment letters later this week.

Both women were nominated by the Queensland Resources Council more than six months ago.

Ms Foot is a new appointee and Ms Ah Wong is a new substitute member.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham says gender quotas must be respected. Picture: Tara Croser
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham says gender quotas must be respected. Picture: Tara Croser

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said "certain representation" had to be made to the committee and that "gender representation" needed to be respected. The committee will meet this week.

CFMEU's Stephen Smyth told The Courier-Mail the union didn't want any worker to miss out on the proposed stop work, meaning it could last days to accommodate varying rosters.

Mr Smyth proposed a 24-hour shutdown at the weekend following two serious incidents including .

Both Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Mr Lynham left the door open to a 24-hour stop-work to be discussed at today's safety forum in Brisbane.

Mr Smyth insisted the action should be held sooner rather than later.

"The main thing is we don't want to see anyone left out," he said.

Stephen Smyth from the CFMEU. Picture: AAP/Steve Pohlner
Stephen Smyth from the CFMEU. Picture: AAP/Steve Pohlner

Six people have been killed at mines and quarries in Queensland during the last 12 months prompting Mr Lynham to call a meeting with the Queensland Resources Council, AWU and CFMEU on Monday night.

It was decided a safety forum would be held in Brisbane on Wednesday where senior mining executives, representatives, unions and peak bodies will decide on short-term and long-term actions to improve onsite safety.

Two reviews will be undertaken including expanding the current review into coal mining deaths to include mineral mines and quarries.

Mr Smyth said all politicians should support a shutdown.

"It (the reset) should have happened straight away," he said. "We can't be delaying it any further."

Mr Lynham said the current rate of fatalities was unacceptable.


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