MINING CRISIS: Call for urgent action after tragedies
CRISIS talks over the safety of Queensland coal workers will be held after the mining community was left reeling from another tragedy. Mining contractor Golding confirmed the death of a worker, a 27-year-old man, at the Baralaba North Coal Mine about 2am yesterday.
Reports of the death came shortly after a worker in his 50s was taken to hospital in a serious condition with back and pelvic injuries after falling about 20 metres at Glencore's Collinsville Coal Mine.
With yesterday's fatality marking four deaths in Queensland coal mines this year - including two within the last 10 days - industry leaders and the CFMEU have demanded change to ensure the safety of mine workers.
"It is becoming increasingly clear that we have a safety crisis in the the Queensland mining industry," CFMEU Queensland district president Stephen Smyth said.
Adding to the crisis is last year's mine fire and subsequent shut down at North Goonyella, a mine truck roll last Friday at the Goonyella Riverside mine and the more than 100 mineworkers diagnosed with mine dust lung diseases.
In a statement, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said his thoughts were with every miner's family, friends and the local community at this difficult time.
He said the industry was working on measures for an overhaul in a bid to "refocus on safety" in light of the recent tragedies.
"QRC meets regularly with the government and with unions on matters including safety," Mr Macfarlane said.
"We have redoubled that communication since the tragedy at the Middlemount mine, including discussions last week with both Mines Minister (Anthony) Lynham and the CFMEU.
"QRC will again meet with the government, unions and workers this week on further actions that can be taken to increase safety across the industry."
Dr Lynham said he was "extremely distressed and concerned" over the six mining and quarry worker deaths in the past 12 months.
"I will be following up on discussions held last week by meeting with representatives of the mining industry, including the QRC, CFMEU and AWU and my Department, as a matter of urgency," he said.
"I will be making it absolutely clear that this situation is unacceptable and requires action. I will make further announcements on what action will be taken by this government after I have considered all the relevant information and outcomes from the meeting.
"I offer my deepest sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased."
The Queensland Mines Inspectorate was notified of yesterday fatality at Baralaba North Coal Mine.
"This is a tragic event for the family of the worker and the extended family and friends of the Queensland coal industry," a department spokeswoman said.
"QMI inspectors are on site and have commenced an investigation in to the circumstances."
The spokeswoman said the Inspectorate was also made aware of yesterday's separate safety incident at Glencore's Collinsville Coal Mine.
Mining contractor Golding yesterday said its thoughts and deepest sympathies were with the deceased man's partner, parents and work mates at this tragic time.
"The gentleman was an experienced mining operator and had been working at the Baralaba North Coal Mine since December 2018, having previously worked for several years with Golding at another site," it said in a statement.
"All operations have been ceased at the mine until further notice."