Miners deserve action and the truth

February 18, 2021 Mining Editor

Member for Burdekin and Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Affairs, Dale Last, claims Queensland’s mine workers have every right to feel let down by the Palaszczuk government’s lack of action on mine safety.

Mr Last, whose Electorate is centred on the Resource Sector, said that both the former and current Mines Ministers had ‘failed abysmally’ when it came to making the industry safer.

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“What we saw from the previous Minister was someone who had given up on addressing the tough questions when it comes to mine safety,” Mr Last said.  “Unfortunately, it looks like the current Minister is following the same playbook.”

“The Ministerial Board of Inquiry is ongoing but there are lessons that should have already been learnt.  There are massive flaws when it comes to issues like the law exam for people holding a key safety role and, of course, the fact that the Inquiry is being prevented from getting to the actual truth.”

Mr Last said the changes to legislation requested by the Board of Inquiry were a “no brainer” as far as he was concerned and that they should be made a priority by the government.

“The Members of the Board of Inquiry have already uncovered serious issues that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency,” Mr Last said.  “Why the government would not take the advice of a retired District Court Judge and let them do the full job is baffling at best and, at worst, insulting.”

“The government’s response to mine safety to date was to make senior staff liable for charges of manslaughter after a fatality.  Wouldn’t it make sense to try and prevent deaths in the first place?”

“I fully recognise the need to ensure people appearing before the Board on Inquiry have their legal rights ensured however, if there is a chance of saving one life, then we need to ensure the Board of Inquiry has the legislation they need to get to the bottom of these issues once and for all.”

“I have no intention of standing by and letting the mine safety issue disappear off the government’s radar.  Our miners, who have kept the economy afloat during COVID, deserve nothing less.”

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