Central Queensland mine facing law suit by former driver

AN indigenous woman is suing a Central Queensland mine for more than $1 million after alleged racial taunts and verbal abuse left her with serious psychological damage.

The 54-year-old Mackay woman was employed as a dump truck driver at Jellinbah mine near Bluff between 2010 and 2011.

In a claim before the Rockhampton Supreme Court, the woman alleges she was subjected to intimidating behaviour and bullying from her co-workers during her employment.

According to the claim she was often called racial names, sworn at and humiliated by other workers who allegedly did not want her on the mine site.

These workers also allegedly made false complaints about her competence as a dump truck driver and threatened to push her truck off a steep embankment while she was in it.

The claim states the relevant parties were aware of what was going on, but did nothing to stop it.

The woman is suing the mine, Watpac Civil and Mining and a recruitment agency on the grounds of negligence and a breach of duty of care.

Rees R and Sydney Jones solicitor George Cowan, who is representing the woman, said his client was exposed to "unacceptable work practices".

"She is unable to return to the mining industry due to her psychiatric injuries," Mr Cowan said.

"My client is looking forward to having her claim determined by the Supreme Court so that she can move on with her life."

Jellinbah Mining Pty Ltd and chief executive Martin Monro declined to comment. However, Mr Monro said the safety and well-being of all employees, contractors and members of the community was an absolute priority at Watpac and something that was taken very seriously.

Topics:  central queensland mining

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