Miners flood Gold Coast for key conference
THE Queensland resources sector injected $663 million into the Gold Coast economy during the 2017-18 financial year and is now hosting the industry's largest annual conference.
The city is expected to receive a surge from the sector this week as more than 900 people attend the 31st annual Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference at The Star.
CFMEU safety rep and conference chair Greg Dalliston said the Gold Coast was chosen as the host city because it had suitable facilities and attendees were encouraged to explore the city.
"We have a free night on Tuesday so the delegates can have time to explore," Mr Dalliston said.
"As we couldn't fit accommodation for everyone at The Star, we have also booked at about four motels across the road."
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham officially opened the conference on Sunday and affirmed to the crowd he will shame in parliament the companies which fail to put workers through a safety reset.
The conference comes on the back of the death of four mining and two quarry workers in Queensland in the past 12 months.
The long list of guests includes Driver Safety Australia director Russell White, Paralympian Brant North who survived a mining accident, and advocate for countering violent extremism Gill Hicks and surfer Mark Matthews.
"At first look it might seem odd that we have a surfer, but he will be sharing the risks he faces and how he handles them," Mr Dalliston said.
"The idea is to give examples outside of mining and show that the same principles apply across different industries."
In the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics from 2016, more than 1800 Gold Coasters were employed in the mining industry, mostly doing fly-in-fly-out work. While the Queensland Resources Council states the sector injected $663 million into the local economy during the 2017-18 financial year.
In 2015, 70 out of 950 FIFO workers at two of central Queensland's most remote mines - Caval Ridge and Daunia - were from the Coast.
In 2012 the Coast pursued plans to fly up to 2000 mine workers - plumbers, carpenters and engineers - out on FIFO contracts through a mining hub, but negotiations crumbled within a year.