Board of Inquiry: Call to make interim mine report public
AN interim report on the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry must be made public, Burdekin MP Dale Last has demanded.
The opposition spokesman for mines said waiting for the inquiry to be finalised was "no longer an option" with the interim report set to be handed down on Monday.
The inquiry's terms of reference stipulate the interim report is only to be given to Mines Minister Anthony Lynham.
If it is not made public, mining communities will be forced to wait until November 30 to see the full findings and recommendations - a month after the state election is held.
"In 65 days, Queenslanders go to the polls and, if the interim report is not released, even the smallest glimmer of the recommendations from the Board of Inquiry won't be known until at least a month later," Mr Last said.
"Minister Lynham ignored my calls for an inquiry for almost 12 months and, now that we are finally uncovering the truth, the full story won't be told until after the election.
"No one can convince me the timing of that isn't deliberate."
The Burdekin MP said the final recommendations of the Board of Inquiry were needed to address a full range of issues plaguing the industry.
"I fully support the Board of Examiners doing their job but, as someone who has spoken to the families, I am sick and tired of incidents and deaths in Queensland's mines and quarries," Mr Last said.
Dr Lynham did not respond to the Daily Mercury's questions about whether he intended to make the interim report public.
"This government has made sweeping reforms over the past five years to protect the safety and health of mine workers," he said.
"Queensland now has the toughest mine safety and health laws in the world, and I stand ready to continue reforms where and when the evidence shows they are needed.
"I await that evidence and the considered recommendations of the Board of Inquiry.
"I am confident the Board's deliberations will be far more effective than the politicians' talkfest that the Member for Burdekin wanted."
The second tranche of public hearings as part of the inquiry will start next month.
The first round of hearings, which focused on the role of the Mines Inspectorate and industry, finished up last week.