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Board of inquiry may examine mines inspectorate

Queensland mine safety inquiry

A Board of Inquiry established by the Queensland Government to investigate the Grosvenor mine incident may extend their investigations to the Queensland Mines Inspectorate.

In a statement released by the Board of Inquiry, it said that under the terms of reference, the purpose of the inquiry was to investigate the serious accident that occurred at Grosvenor Mine on 6 May 2020, and high potential incidents involving exceedances of methane at Grosvenor and other mines between 1 July 2019 and 5 May 2020.

It said that its’ objective was to determine the nature and cause of the serious accident as well as make findings of fact about any factors that contributed materially to the cause of the accident.

Chairperson and Board Member, Retired Queensland District Court Judge Terry Martin SC, said in undertaking this work the role of all relevant parties must be investigated; the Inspectorate is one such party.

“There is no prescription, nor proscription, as to how the Board is to inquire into all incidents. All relevant evidence will be sought and considered.

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“A number of notices to produce documents (attendance notices) have been given to various bodies. Whilst it is an offence to fail to comply, all such bodies have been cooperative. Many more such notices will follow,” he said.

Following its investigation, the Board will make recommendations for future improvements to mine safety and health practices and procedures to mitigate against the risk of similar incidents happening in the future.

Anyone with relevant information to the inquiry can provide material to the Board’s Executive Director by 17 July.

The Inquiry will be conducting public hearings which will be live streamed and accessible from any internet-enabled device.

More details are available on the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry’s website at www.coalminesinquiry.qld.gov.au.

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