Whilst welcoming the reduction in fatalities and serious accidents in Queensland’s mines, Member for Burdekin, Dale Last, said the most recent annual performance report for Resources Safety and Health Queensland showed there was still ‘considerable work to be done’.
Mr Last, whose electorate includes most of the Bowen Basin, said miners and their families would welcome some results but would be left wondering why their voices were not being heard when it came to mine inspections.
“In 2017 the Black Lung White Lies inquiry recommended that 50% of inspections be unannounced,” Mr Last said. “In 2019-20 only 13% of coal mine inspections were unannounced and that’s lower than the result in 2017-18.”
“The report itself shows that, during the Safety Resets, workers expressed ‘a desire for greater enforcement of existing laws and regulations including more unannounced site inspections’ but that call is clearly being ignored.”
Mr Last said that he would continue to advocate for improvements in safety for the resources workers in his electorate and praised their efforts to make the industry safer.
“The report indicates that workers are becoming more willing to report safety issues and that is a positive thing,” Mr Last said. “They simply want the safest workplace possible and that is what the government needs to focus on by implementing the recommendations that have been made in previous inquiries and by promising to implement the recommendations of the current Ministerial Board of Inquiry.”
“There are several examples of the Labor state government dragging the chain on implementing recommendations and that needs to end. For example, we have now been waiting for over four years for the mobile screening unit for workers in regional areas.”
“Worker safety needs to be the highest priority, no if’s, but’s or maybes.”
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