Death at Queensland coal mine sparks calls for inquiry

Death at Queensland coal mine sparks calls for inquiry

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“We are all extremely saddened by this tragic incident and we extend our deepest sympathies to Brad’s family and friends,” said Fitzroy Australia Resources CEO, Grant Polwarth.

In a statement, the company said it was fully co-operating with investigations by authorities.

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The major mine safety reset in July was aimed at preventing more fatalities after the death of 27-year-old Jack Gerdes at another central Queensland coal mine.

Crisis talks between industry and the government saw more money promised for mine inspectors.

The state’s 50,000 mine and quarry workers completed refresher safety courses, and the government promised to consider extending industrial manslaughter laws to the resources sector.

There have also been reviews into the effectiveness of mining health and safety regulations, and why mine workers have died and how safety can be improved generally.

On Tuesday, CFMEU’s Stephen Smyth said more action needed to be taken and the state opposition repeated its demand for a parliamentary mine safety inquiry.

The Labor government voted down calls for an inquiry when they were made in August.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said it would divert attention, time and resources from immediate action to boost safety.

On Tuesday Dr Lynham said his thoughts were with the family, friends and colleagues of the latest miner to die.

Minister for Mines Anthony Lynham at Parliament House in Brisbane on Tuesday.Credit:AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

“The mines inspectorate will investigate fully, an inspector is already on site,” he said.

Opposition natural resources and mines spokesman Dale Last also expressed his condolences and repeated the call for a parliamentary inquiry.

“At the end of the day we need to get to the bottom of this,” Mr Last said.

“These mine workers need to know that when they go to work of a morning that they’re going to come home at night.”

He said the death devastated the central Queensland mining community.

AAP

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