AWU Takes the Mining Safety Fight to the State Government

Wednesday 10th July 2019

Since the tragic death of a miner last week, The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) has been taking the fight to the State Government to urgently introduce better safety regulations for Queensland Mines.

AWU Queensland Branch Secretary Steve Baker said the first priority is fighting so that every Queensland worker can go to work knowing they’ll be able to head home safe to their family at the end of every shift.

“Today representatives from the AWU attended an urgent crisis meeting’ with State Government representatives,” Steve said.  

“At this meeting, we made it clear that more needs to be done to hold the mining industry and safety regulator accountable for worker safety.

The AWU recognizes and thanks the State Government for hosting this important mining safety forum today, saying it’s good to see the mining industry has admitted there is a problem, with the union emphasizing that it’s now time for action.

Specifically, the AWU is calling on the State Government to pass laws that:

  • Introduce industrial manslaughter legislation so that gross breaches in safety are punished with the severity they deserve
  • Allow workers and the AWU to appeal and dispute decisions of the safety regulator
  • Introduce new and improved protections for workers from being targeted by their employer for raising a safety issue
  • Improve safety culture so that it’s given the importance it deserves

“These are common-sense provisions that will go a long way to making mining companies and the regulators are made accountable for on-site safety,” Steve added.

“It’s time for the mining industry to stop blaming workers and start being held to account to provide a safe workplace.”