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Queensland mine safety framework

Queensland’s mining safety and health legislation is considered among the best in the world, but ongoing review is important to ensure our regulatory framework remains effective and continues to protect mine workers from harm.

In 2013, we invited feedback from stakeholders on options to amend legislation to improve the effectiveness of mining safety and health laws.

Based on the consultation results, we prepared a decision regulatory impact statement (RIS) (PDF, 485KB).

The proposals in the decision RIS, as well as more recent proposals, have now been incorporated into the Mines Legislation (Resources Safety) Amendment Act 2018 (the Amendment Act). You can access more information about the Act in the explanatory notes.

What’s changing?

The Amendment Act makes a number of important changes to the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999 and the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999 (the mining safety and health legislation) to:

  • improve safety and health management systems for mine workers
  • increase competency of mine workers
  • increase transparency and accountability
  • strengthen compliance and enforcement powers for the regulator.

The key changes are detailed below.

Note that requirements for explosion barriers to reduce the risk of coal dust explosions at underground coal mines are not included in the Amendment Act.

Instead, these requirements are being finalised through proposed amendments to the Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulation 2017 and tripartite (department, union and industry) representative work on a recognised standard for explosion barriers.

Improving safety and health management systems for mine workers

Key changes include:

  • improving contractor management by requiring integration of contractor and service provider safety and health management plans into a mine’s single safety and health management system
  • enshrining health surveillance of miners as a specific objective of the mining safety and health legislation
  • requiring a safety and health management system for opal and gem mines with 5 to 10 workers by 9 November 2021.

Increasing competency of mine workers

Key changes include:

Increasing transparency and accountability

Key changes include:

  • requiring designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers of equipment and substances to proactively notify the Inspectorate about hazards or defects
  • introducing proactive safety and health obligations for officers of corporations
  • increasing Mines Inspectorate representation on statutory advisory committees to balance tripartite membership
  • providing for a public register of holders of certificates of competency and SSE notices
  • enabling notification requirements for reportable diseases to be expanded through the regulations
  • allowing for proactive release of information to improve safety learnings without prejudicing future investigations.

Strengthening compliance and enforcement powers

Key changes include:

  • increasing maximum financial penalties for breaches of safety and health obligations
  • introducing civil penalties for contravening certain requirements under mining safety and health legislation
  • clarifying inspector entry powers to off-mine site workplaces
  • enabling the chief executive to suspend or cancel certificates of competency and site senior executive notices for breaches of mining safety and health legislation.

Last updated: 21 Jul 2020