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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    Queensland won’t compromise on mine safety

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Andrew Cripps

    Wednesday, June 06, 2012

    Queensland won’t compromise on mine safety

    The Queensland Government is seeking feedback from the resources sector on the proposal to harmonise Queensland’s mine safety legislation with other states.

    Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps today released a discussion paper inviting industry comment on the model national legislation which aims to harmonise mine safety laws across Australia.

    “Queensland is currently participating along with other states and the Commonwealth in discussion about the prospects of nationally-consistent mine safety laws. However the process is not without its concerns,” Mr Cripps said.

    “My department is working through the COAG National Mine Safety Framework (NMSF) to ensure any new model laws are at least as effective as Queensland’s current mine safety and health laws.

    “Many share the view that Queensland already has the best mine safety legislation in the country.

    “Queensland sees the merit of greater consistency across jurisdictions. However, this state will not allow itself to be disadvantaged by adopting model national legislation that lowers the high standards of mine safety that already apply in this State.

    “Nor should we be disadvantaged by national legislation that diminishes the quality of mine safety training, or causes additional ongoing costs for Queensland in the regulation of mine safety.”

    Mr Cripps said it was important the mining industry had a say in future Queensland mining safety and health legislation.

    Industry stakeholders have until Monday 23 July 2012 to provide the State Government with a submission.

    Mr Cripps said the Newman Government was committed to ensuring that all mining activities were conducted safely; with minimal risk to the 58,000 Queenslanders who work in the industry.

    “Queensland already has one of the best mine safety performance records in the world and demanding state mine safety laws.

    “These laws were developed in partnership with industry and the unions.

    “The Queensland framework has been, in some respects, world leading with its systematic risk management processes and systems and encouragement of a proactive safety culture at all mines.

    “The improvement in the safety performance of Queensland mines as a result of this framework is without equal.

    “The question we pose to the resources sector is whether there is any justification for Queensland adopting change for the sake of administrative harmonisation with the national Model Work Health and Safety legislation,” he said.

    “The current attitude of the Newman LNP Government is that we remain unconvinced that the national model legislation is in Queensland’s best interests.

    “We will not be changing our legislation for the sake of administrative harmonisation. In Queensland, we put mine safety first.”

    [ENDS] 6 June 2012

    Media inquiries: Jane Paterson 0417 281 754