11,500 reasons for mine safety inquiry
THOUSANDS of potentially dangerous incidents have taken place at Queensland mines in recent years with new startling figures also revealing there were hundreds of serious accidents.
There's been more than 11,500 "high potential incidents" at mines and quarries since 2013-14, sparking renewed calls from the Opposition for the Government to back its proposed parliamentary inquiry into mine safety.
A high potential incident can include a fire, equipment failure, theft or other loss of explosives, structural failures and entrapment but doesn't necessarily result in injury.
LNP mines spokesman Dale Last said it was an "extraordinarily high" number which deserved scrutiny as part of an inquiry.
"Rather than closed shop reviews, the LNP believe resource communities, workers and their families deserve answers," he said.
The State Government announced a raft of measures in the wake of six deaths in 12 months at Queensland mines and quarries, including expanding the current independent review of coalmining deaths to include quarries and other mines dating back to 2000.
All mines and quarries were also required to partake in a safety reset earlier this year.
A question on notice revealed that between 2013-14 and 2018-19, there were 475 serious accidents, including 110 last financial year.
There were 1935 high potential incidents in 2018-19 while 2164 were recorded the previous year.
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said Queensland had the toughest mining health and safety laws in the world.
"While the number of accidents has fluctuated over the past several years, any injury to workers is unacceptable," he said.
"So most importantly, we continue to work with industry, companies and mine workers' representatives on further reforms, including adding industrial manslaughter as an offence."
Dr Lynham said the LNP's inquiry proposal "would take years to make and implement findings".
CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland District President Stephen Smyth said the number of high potential incidents was alarming and a concern.
He said ineffective supervision and inexperience were contributing to serious accidents.