Mine safety inquiry to investigate over 40 mine incidents

Monday, 01 June, 2020

Mine safety inquiry to investigate over 40 mine incidents

A mine safety board of inquiry will investigate more than 40 methane gas incidents in Queensland’s underground coalmines since mid-2019. The board members include retired District Court Judge Terry Martin SC, as chair, and Professor Andrew Hopkins AO from the Australian National University, an expert in coalmine health and safety. The inquiry follows the underground gas explosion at Grosvenor Mine near Moranbah, Queensland, which put five miners in hospital.

“The board will be able to conduct public hearings, call witnesses and make broad inquiries, findings and recommendations relating to the incident. The board’s terms of reference ask them to inquire into the incident at Grosvenor Mine as well as 40 other high potential incidents relating to the principal hazard of methane,” said Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham. The board of inquiry has been asked to determine nature and to make findings in relation to the incidents. It will also make recommendations for improving safety and health practices and procedures to prevent these incidents from happening again. The board will report its findings by 30 November 2020.

“Queensland has the world’s toughest mine safety and health laws after five years of sweeping reform under the Palaszczuk Government. I look forward to this inquiry helping us bring home every Queensland worker to their friends and family at the end of their working day,” said Dr Lynham. The Deputy Chief of Coal Mines and a team of inspectors will continue a full investigation on site at Grosvenor mine. Dr Lynham tabled the Terms of Reference, which were published by gazette notice on Friday 22 May 2020.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Michael Evans

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