Mine safety inquiry probes underground coal mine issues
Published Thursday, 21 May, 2020 at 10:19 AM
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham
A mine safety board of inquiry will investigate more than 40 methane gas incidents in Queensland’s underground coal mines since mid-2019.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham told Parliament today that the board members would be retired District Court Judge Terry Martin SC, as chair, and Professor Andrew Hopkins AO from the Australian National University, an expert in coal mine health and safety.
The inquiry follows the underground gas explosion at Grosvenor Mine near Moranbah 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,” Dr Lynham said.
“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.
“They have been asked to determine the nature and cause of each of the Grosvenor accident and make findings in relation to the incidents.
“Further the Board of Inquiry is to make recommendations for improving safety and health practices and procedures to mitigate against the risk of these incidents happening again.
“They will report by 30 November this year.”
“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.”
Dr Lynham said Deputy Chief of Coal Mines and a team of inspectors continued a full investigation on site at Grosvenor mine.
He tabled the Terms of Reference, which will be published by gazette notice tomorrow (Friday).
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