Peter Dent, the department's executive director, safety and health, said part of this key role included responsibility for qualifications for statutory officials in the coal mining industry (mine managers and under managers-mine manager's representative on shifts), training agendas, the state's emergency response exercise for the industry, and industry liaison.
Reece has broad experience in different coalfields in Queensland and New South Wales, particularly in gassy mines. He has a Bachelor of Engineering in mining engineering from the University of New South Wales and holds a First Class Mine Manager's Certificate.
Before moving to Queensland he was mine manager for five years with Dartbrook colliery in the Hunter Valley. This mine has a 24-metre thick seam, a high carbon dioxide content rather than methane, and is prone to spontaneous combustion. He was also mine manager at Central and North Goonyella Collieries in the Bowen Basin.
Reece said one of the biggest challenges facing the Queensland and Australian coal industry was sustainable development.
"The state is the world's largest seaborne coal trader, exporting 117.56 million tonnes of coal to 30 countries in 2000-01, but the industry is under pressure to operate safely and responsibly, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to find cleaner fuels.
"In Queensland, we are also focussing on coordinated training to improve our safety and health record, all part of the new risk-based rather than prescriptive legislation that was introduced in March 2001," he said.
"Other challenges facing the industry are ensuring risk-based management plans are relevant to the workplace, and working closely with all staff on matters of training and competence," Reece said.