‘Sack him’: Pollie calls for Mines Minister to step down
THE eighth death at a Queensland mine in 18 months has prompted a call for Mines Minister Anthony Lynham to step down or be sacked.
A 33-year-old man died at Curragh Mine in Blackwater after he was reportedly trapped in machinery during a workplace incident.
Embattled Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said the death on Sunday was an "utterly disgraceful and sad situation".
"Tough questions need to be asked and whilst this latest tragedy is not the subject of a thorough investigation … you have to wonder what is going on in Queensland's multi-billion dollar coal-mining sector when it comes to workplace safety," Mr Costigan said.
The NQ First politician said he had "grilled" Mr Lynham on mine safety.
"Sadly however, Dr Lynham had presided over an absolute disaster - a dark 18 months in the history of our coal-mining sector in Queensland," he said.
"Given this utterly disgraceful and sad situation, Labour's Mines Minister should resign and if he refuses to do that as well, then the Premier should step in and sack him," Mr Costigan said.
Opposition spokesman for Natural Resources and Mines Dale Last has also slammed the State Government's approach to mine safety.
"Workers continue to die in our mines and we still don't have answers," Mr Last said.
Previously Mr Lynham has welcomed legislative reforms to strengthen the safety culture in the resource sector.
Following the death of 27-year-old Jack Gerdes, who died at Baralaba North Coal Mine, Mr Lynham said he was actively considering industrial manslaughter legislation to tackle "reckless behaviour" in the mining industry.
Acting Mines Minister Mark Ryan said his thoughts were with the family, friends and colleagues of Donald Rabbitt.
"Any death in our resources workplaces is unacceptable, and this government is committed to working with employers, unions and peak bodies to continue to improve protections for our workers," Mr Ryan said.
"This Labor Government has already extensively reformed mine safety and health over the past five years, and Queensland now has the toughest mine safety and health laws in the world. And there is further reform to come.
"We will introduce legislation this year to make industrial manslaughter an offence, as it is in other Queensland workplaces, and we have legislation before the Parliament to establish an independent resources health and safety authority."
Mr Ryan said the State Government would take take further action based on the reviews from its advisory committees and the independent Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health.