Burdekin MP and shadow mines minister Dale Last says the State Government needs to ‘come clean’. Picture: MATT TAYLOR.
Burdekin MP and shadow mines minister Dale Last says the State Government needs to ‘come clean’. Picture: MATT TAYLOR.

MP urges transparency over ‘savage’ findings on black lung

SHADOW Mines Minister Dale Last is urging transparency over the completion of recommendations put forward on black lung.

It came after an Auditor-General's report on the public sector's response to addressing mine dust lung disease found more than 50 recommendations had either been not accepted or only partially implemented.

As of October 31, 116 mine workers from 2015 to 2019 had been diagnosed with the disease.

The audit assessed how effectively public sector entities had implemented recommendations from the Monash review and reports 2 and 4 from the Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis Select Committee - aimed at reducing the risk and occurrence of mine dust lung disease.

It reported 27 recommendations had not been implemented, 25 had been partially actioned and 36 had been fully implemented.

Mr Last said the State Government needed to "come clean" on whether recommendations had been completed or not.

"The Auditor-General has savaged Labor's lack of transparency around the implementation of the recommendations from the inquiries into black lung," he said.

"Queenslanders deserve to know the truth.

"It is outrageous that even after all we know about black lung in Queensland, there is still only one inspector conducting audits on dust levels in mines."

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the government would continue to pursue better protections for workers.

"I understand that the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy is confident that it has either implemented or is still implementing all of the recommendations," Dr Lynham said.

"Government, industry, unions and the medical profession have been working together over the past three years on tackling mine dust lung disease, including black lung."

The government has invested $26 million to deliver reforms to improve the safety and health of mine workers.



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