More Protection For Resources Worker Safety

Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals The Honourable Scott Stewart
  • The Resources Safety and Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 has passed in Parliament, creating changes to legislation for safety and health in Queensland’s mines, quarries, petroleum, gas and explosives industries.
  • The new laws will help protect workers and improve safety.
  • They implement the final recommendations for Resources Safety and Health Queensland from the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry which investigated the Grosvenor mine explosion.
  • The changes will begin over the next five years to allow industry implementation.

The Miles Government has delivered on its commitment to safety in the resources sector with amendments to the Resources Safety Acts passing Queensland Parliament.

The reforms facilitate high reliability organisation behaviours within the resources sector, modernising regulatory enforcement powers, and ensuring Queensland’s resources safety and health legislation is contemporary and effective.

Critical controls are a particular focus and aim to address serious risks on mine sites.

Previously, these controls have been voluntarily applied across industry. The new laws now require mine and quarry sites to include critical controls in their safety and health management systems.

The changes also mean enforceable undertakings have been introduced for the first time to the resources industry.

An enforceable undertaking is an alternative to prosecution and allows the regulator to accept an undertaking from individuals and companies where they have breached the safety and health legislation, but not in matters involving workplace deaths.

All changes to the Resources Safety Acts were informed by recommendations from the Brady Review into fatal accidents at Queensland mines, the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry, the coronial inquest into the death of Gareth Dodunski, and industry consultation.

As part of the legislation, Resources Safety and Health Queensland’s petroleum and gas inspectors will now be able to compel relevant people to give information or answer questions. This was a recommendation from the coroner after its inquest into the tragic death of Gareth Dodunski.

As stated by Resources and Critical Minerals Minister Scott Stewart:

“The most important thing to come out of out of any workplace at the end of each shift is its workers, and that is why safety is my number one priority.

“Our goal for these reforms was to improve the resource sector’s safety and health performance, and to reduce the number of fatalities and serious accidents.

“After the explosion at the Grosvenor mine in 2020, the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry was established and made recommendations to industry, unions, Resources Safety and Health Queensland and other stakeholders.

“This legislation implements the final recommendations for Resources Safety and Health Queensland which is incredibly important.

“The resources industry is a key driver of the Queensland economy, but we can’t have a thriving resources sector without robust safety measures in place.

“The health and safety of all workers is paramount for the Miles Labor Government.

“The LNP did nothing about mine worker safety and health during their disastrous three years in government.

“This has been a monumental effort and I want to thank everyone who contributed to these reforms, in particular the parents of Gareth Dodunski, Michelle and Phil, who bravely recounted the devastating loss of their son during the Committee hearings.”

/Public Release. View in full here.