Published: 26 Feb 2021
The Miners Union is calling on the Queensland Government to make urgent changes to the conduct of the ongoing Queensland Coal Board of Inquiry in light of events at Moranbah North coal mine last weekend.
High gas and heating within the mine’s long wall section in the underground coal mine led to the withdrawal of the workforce last Saturday. The mine has restrictions in place and remains closed to workers going underground at this point.
CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth has written to Resources Minister Scott Stewart about his concerns about the state of health safety in the coal mining industry. In particular, he raised concerns about similarities between events at Moranbah North and those Grosvenor mine last May, when an underground explosion seriously damaged five workers. Both mines are operated by Anglo American.
The Union is calling on the following steps to be urgently taken:
Mr Smyth said the Inquiry was impeded because managerial and supervisory staff could avoid giving evidence due to self-incrimination protections; while workers were too scared to give evidence for fear of being targeted.
“The impact of the tragedy at the Grosvenor Mine will continue to be felt by those impacted for years to come,” said Mr Smyth. “Whilst prosecutions of those responsible must occur, it is critical that the issues impacting coal mine workers safety and health are addressed in a fulsome manner before an even greater tragedy occurs.”