Safety meetings were held up because too few women had been employed.
Safety meetings were held up because too few women had been employed.

Miners die as gender gap derails safety committee

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has revealed a mining safety committee has only just been re-established after six months in hiatus because it couldn't meet gender requirements. It comes as the Minister prepares to meet key stakeholders to discuss recent mine deaths.

It comes as a worker was killed at the Baralaba mine at the weekend, the fourth Queensland mine death this year.

The Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee hasn't operated for six months however will meet again this week.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham will meet with key mining stakeholders this afternoon to discuss recent Queensland mine deaths. Picture: Annette Dew
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham will meet with key mining stakeholders this afternoon to discuss recent Queensland mine deaths. Picture: Annette Dew

When operational, the committee is required to advise the Minister on the safety and health of mine and quarry employees.

Mr Lynham said "certain representation" had to be made to the committee.

" … Have to make sure gender representation is respected," he said.

"Because of the significance of the appointments that has been difficult."

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the industry body had supplied nominations for the committee, including two women, six months ago.

"I'm not sure why that committee hasn't been operating," he said.

"We want to be doing everything we can but I think at the moment what we most want to do is establish what is the facts around this incident."

Mr Macfarlane said every committee made a "meaningful difference".

He also said every day, each miner underwent a safety induction before starting.

"We will need to see if that process is sufficient," he said.

"We need to establish what more can be done.

"I don't understand the full details around the fatality and I don't want to speculate until I see that detail."

The Baralaba North Coal mine just outside Baralaba. Picture: Cockatoo Mines
The Baralaba North Coal mine just outside Baralaba. Picture: Cockatoo Mines

Meanwhile, Mr Lynham will meet with unions, industry and his department this afternoon to discuss the mining fatality at Baralaba and other recent deaths.

The Minister said there were 84 inspectors on the ground across Queensland and there had been a "record number of inspectors in the last incident and this incident".

However he would not be drawn on questions around concerns about the number of chief inspectors.

"I met with the chief inspector this morning and there's 84 inspectors on the ground all doing their job," he said.

"We're leaving no stone unturned.

"I expect everyone to be compliant with mine health and safety legislation."

Meanwhile Mr Lynham has revealed


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