Two appointments to the Queensland Mine Safety Advisory committee have been confirmed this morning.
The Courier-Mail exclusively revealed today that 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.
Earlier this week Queensland’s Mine Safety Minister Anthony Lynham confirmed the committee had not met this year because of challenges meeting gender quotas.
“Certain representation has to be made on the committee to have to make sure that gender representation is respected,” Mr Lynham said.
“And because of the significance of the appointments, that has been difficult.”
The lack of appointment of the two nominees was labeled as a ‘twisted set of priorities” by Sky News Host Chris Kenny (see below).
AMSJ readers spoke of their disgust in the Queensland Government’s handling of the mine safety advisory committee gender issues.
One reader wrote ‘This bullshit gender equity to fill numbers and look great has gone way too far. I believe in gender diversity in industry however at the forefront of operations where safety is paramount the most qualified and competent people must be employed in the interest of Safety and delivering quality.‘
Another said ‘How bout you knock all this political gender equality crap on the head and employ people who are more than capable of doing the job regardless of gender and get on with sorting the big issues out, you know like you were elected to do‘
AMSJ Consultant Editor, John Ninness was highly critical of the Government’s handling of mining safety in the state echoing the words of CFMEU Stephen Smyth in saying a mining safety crisis existed.
While the mine safety advisory committee won’t necessarily fix the issues of mining safety in the state, it is a reflection of Government priorities in the midst of mine worker deaths.
In the midst of the State’s Mine safety debacle, State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington announced she would push for a parliamentary inquiry to be set up to investigate mine safety in Queensland.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government admitted this morning that an advisory committee on mining safety was dissolved last year because the board didn’t have the right gender requirements,” she said in a statement.
“That needs to be investigated along with reports the mines budget has been cut and why we have gone from two chief inspectors to one.”
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