News

BREAKING: CQ coal mine cops massive fine over worker's death

File photo.
File photo. Robert Rough

ANGLO Coal failed Ian Downes when he was killed working on part of the Grasstree mine that had not been inspected for a year, a court has ruled.

Anglo Coal was fined $284,000 in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday after the company pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe workplace leading to Mr Downes's death.

At about 11.30pm on December 11, 2014, Mr Downes and a colleague were working on an underground wall when part of it came away, striking and killing Mr Downes.

The area had been opened for work despite not having been properly inspected. That part of the mine had been closed and not used for about a year.

The court heard some of the bolts reinforcing the wall were rusted, others were bent and some were missing entirely. Other parts of the wall reinforcement were not properly attached.

Magistrate Nerida Wilson said Anglo had failed Mr Downes.

"It was incumbent on Anglo to make sure the (work area) was not opened until it was inspected and was safe for work," she said.

"He was entitled to believe that he was safe, he was entitled to believe Anglo had carried out its obligations and inspected the area."

Magistrate Wilson accepted Anglo barrister Thomas Bradley's submission that the company should be penalised for the failure to make the area safe - not for Mr Downes's death.

It was the second death in Grasstree mine that year. Anglo was fined $135,000 after pleading guilty to the same offence leading to Paul McGuire's May 2014 death.

Magistrate Wilson said a statement from Mr Downes's wife showed how his death was more than just an industrial event.

"It is safe to say (Mr Downes's wife) is grieving. There are children without a father, parents without a son," she said.

Despite both Mr Bradley and prosecutor Elizabeth Wilson suggesting a $200,000 fine as penalty, the magistrate ruled that amount did not reflect the seriousness of the offence nor that it was Anglo's second conviction for an unsafe workplace causing a death at Grasstree.

But the magistrate accepted the offence would have been more serious if a company intentionally breached the laws or ordered employees to forego safety requirements.

Anglo was fined $284,625 - half the maximum penalty - and a conviction was recorded against the company.

Anglo did not respond to a request for comment, but last week said the company was determined to ensure Mr Downes's death was not repeated.

ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  anglo american anglo coal court death grasstree mine ian downes workplace death



8 things you didn't know you could do at North Straddie

NORTH Stradbroke Island is the perfect getaway whether you plan to stay for a day, a week or even a month.

A whisky-lover's blueprint to Brisbane's best bars

Check out The Gresham for some old-school fine drops.

SCOTCH, Whiskey and Whisky; it all gets a bit confusing.

Your guide to the best Brisbane markets

Enjoy the beautiful offerings of one of Brisbane's many markets.

WHO doesn’t love a good market!?

Ain’t no mountain high enough

No Caption

Brisbane's dishing up the mountain-hiking goods!

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art always has a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition on show for the whole family to enjoy.

YOU'D be mistaken in thinking Brisbane wasn't an arty city.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

MAJOR UPDATE: Rocky bomb threat culprits under serious investigation

Police on scene at the Frenchville Sports Club on Clifton St, Berserker after a bomb scare was phoned in.

Chaos as two busy venues thrown into lockdown less than 24hrs apart.

CRASH UPDATE: CQ highway blocked after serious truck rollover

DAILY TRAFFIC REPORT: Truck and bobcat crash into house

All emergency services on scene after driver became entrapped.

$53m power station overhaul a major injection to CQ economy

INJECTION: Stanwell Power Station will get a $53m upgrade over the next year.

Important boost comes as energy supply and affordability flagged

Local Partners

Bonus Bill Busters Bingo card with today's paper!

IF YOU’RE wondering what those random cries of ‘bingo!’ have been around the city of late, then brace yourself – you too could be a winner!

Digging down to find Clare

Australian actress and singer Clare Bowen, who got her big break on the US TV series Nashville, is touring Australia with her solo album.

After five years on Nashville it’s time to tell her own stories.

TV REVIEW: Offspring season 7 is... fine

Alexander England and Asher Keddie in a scene from season seven of Offspring.

New Offspring won’t be remembered as the best season.

What's on at the cinemas over the school holidays

Tom Holland in a scene from the movie Spider-man: Homecoming.

Escape from reality over the holidays with a trip to the movies.

Rapper accidentally drops Banksy's real name in interview

Banksy’s ‘The girl with a balloon.’

Rapper Goldie may have just outed Banksy's real identity

Mariah Carey slammed for on-set antics

Mariah Carey’s cameo in the movie The House was reportedly scrapped.

Actor spills the beans on Mariah’s “borderline abusive” behaviour.

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson dead after long illness

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson has died.

Celebrity chef died after battle with an alcohol-related illness

Rocky deal a first home buyer's dream

NEW HOME DEAL: An example of the Bank St house and land package.

Local developer releases exclusive house and land package

First home buyer's grant should boost market

REIQ figures show Rockhampton's median house price for the March quarter dropped 3.7% to $260,000 and Livingstone's price fell 9.7% to $347,500.

Decision may help Rockhampton's, Livingstone's sliding house prices

Millionaire Nathan Birch to offload $55M in property

Nathan Birch wants to focus more on developing properties.

Sydney property investor has announced he is selling up

Fame factor boosts property prices in Byron

The stunning Clarke's Beach in Byron Bay.

House prices surge by an incredible 39.5% in star-studded area

Grass is greener for Warwick real estate

Warwick's rural charm and affordable property prices are enticing buyers from Brisbane.

Quality houses for half the price of Brisbane attracting interest

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!