QUEENSLAND mining executives face up to 20 years in jail if it is found workers died because of their criminal negligence.
- Under the proposed laws, senior officers of a mine or quarry company can be tried for industrial manslaughter if criminal negligence is proven for a worker’s death
- Maximum penalties range up to $13 million and 20 years’ jail
- The bill also strengthens measures to ensure taxpayers are not left with the costs of rehabilitating abandoned mines
- Find out whether your Progressive Rehabilitation Plan (PRC) is compliant in QLD in this free guide
Lynham said: “It is totally unacceptable that workers continue to die in our resources workplaces. Queensland already has the toughest mine safety and health laws in the world. The most important product to come off a mine site or a quarry at the end of the shift is not minerals or coal; it’s a worker, heading home to family and friends.”Lynham said that the new laws are “part of the most comprehensive suite of mine health and safety reforms in two decades” and will provide over 50,000 mine and quarry workers with the same protections as other Queensland workers. Offenders breaching mining safety laws currently face a maximum sentence of three years’ jail term for multiple deaths. The reforms will include an improved safety net for affected workers, increased maximum penalties for offences, state-wide safety reset sessions for workers, and a commitment to tighter controls on, and monitoring of the health effects of, mine dust levels. Exposure to mine dust can lead to coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), also known as black lung disease or black lung. There has also been more than 49,000 chest x-rays to International Labour Organisation standards, including more than 14,000 by Queensland-based Lungscreen Australia. Mine dust lung disease expert Dr Bob Cohen, from University of Illinois, Chicago, said this increased health surveillance of coal miners made Queensland “the envy of the world”.
“Coal miners and their families should feel comforted that miners’ health will be protected through a high-quality medical surveillance system that ensures disease is detected early and the risk of disease progressing to a severe and debilitation stage is thereby significantly refused. Other jurisdictions including the United States should strongly consider adopting these changes Queensland has led.”
ConsultationLynham told parliament there had been extensive consultation with the Queensland Resources Council, mining companies and unions. Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane said the organisation would need to examine the bill in further detail. The organisation will make a formal submission to the parliamentary committee that will examine the bill. “QRC accepts the introduction of industrial manslaughter as an offence in the resources sector,” Macfarlane said. “However, QRC is concerned the current proposed legislation unintentionally weakens the mine safety reforms introduced two decades ago following the Moura 2 Mine tragedy that claimed 11 lives on August 7 1994. “QRC believes it is critical the reforms developed in the wake of that tragedy remain in force and are built upon. “QRC will continue to work with the government and unions to achieve that end.” The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union welcomed the bill’s introduction. CFMEU Queensland president Stephen Smyth said it would bring mining into line with other industries where individual executives and managers faced jail time. “The industry has fought tooth and nail against being held accountable for worker deaths,” he said.
“I commend the Queensland government for standing up to pressure from the mining companies and bringing this bill to parliament. “Over the past year, we have all been shocked and saddened by the deaths that have occurred in our industry. “Where worker deaths are caused by negligence, there should be consequences. Mine safety is a multi-dimensional issue, but accountability for individuals in positions of authority is absolutely critical. “The union has advocated strongly for industrial manslaughter laws in mining and we’ll continue to fight to improve safety in our industry.”The CFMEU also supports changes that require statutory positions in mines to be filled by workers employed by mining companies, rather than employed as contractors. Smyth said the critical roles of deputy and open cut examiner must be directly employed and focus on safety, rather than production.
Mine rehabilitation reformsThe bill introduced yesterday also strengthens measures to ensure taxpayers are not left with the costs of rehabilitating abandoned mines and better protections for vulnerable electricity customers. The Palaszczuk government’s financial assurance and mine rehabilitation reforms specify that mines going into care and maintenance will have enhanced security and that there will be broader powers for remediating abandoned mines and will, where possible, commercialise said sites.
O que é a reabilitação de minas?
Segundo o Departamento da Indústria, Turismo e Recursos, a reabilitação de minas (reabilitação) é "o processo utilizado para reparar os impactos da exploração mineira no ambiente". A reabilitação de minas pode também ser referida como reabilitação de minas de carvão, reabilitação de terrenos, reabilitação de sítios de minas ou restauração de sítios de minas. Os objectivos a longo prazo da reabilitação podem variar desde a simples conversão de uma área para uma condição segura e estável, até à restauração das condições de pré-mina o mais próximo possível para apoiar a sustentabilidade futura do local".
Quais são os diferentes tipos de práticas de reabilitação de minas?
Existem vários tipos de práticas de reabilitação de minas, incluindo: - Hidrogeologia - Inundações - Avaliação do solo e do material de nivelamento - Caracterização da água - Concepção de aterros e coberturas - Gestão da água - Revegetação - Instalações de armazenamento de rejeitos
O meu Plano Progressivo de Reabilitação e Encerramento (PRCP) está em conformidade?
As organizações que realizam actividades mineiras em Queensland (QLD) são legalmente obrigadas a reabilitar a terra. Um plano progressivo de reabilitação e encerramento (plano PRC) é um elemento crítico da Política de Reabilitação de Terras Minadas do Governo de QLD. Ao submeter um pedido específico de uma Autoridade Ambiental (EA) para uma nova actividade mineira relacionada com um arrendamento mineiro, os candidatos são obrigados a desenvolver e apresentar uma proposta de plano PRC como parte do seu pedido. Descarregue o seu guia gratuito abaixo para saber: https://www.decipher.com.au/MineRehabilitationGuideQLD
- Consórcio nacional sobre o encerramento de minas passa o primeiro obstáculo
- Quais são os diferentes tipos de reabilitação de minas?
- Fale com a nossa equipa para uma demonstração gratuita da nossa ferramenta de reabilitação de minas, DecipherGreen
- Veja aqui como as nossas soluções ajudam a gerir os requisitos ambientais, normativos e de aprovação para a reabilitação de minas