Mine safety levy introduced

THE New South Wales Government has introduced a mine safety levy that will help fund the implementation of a series of recommendations to further improve mine safety.

Staff Reporter

The recommendations were made in the Wran Mine Safety Review, which the State Government commissioned in 2004. Headed by former NSW premier Neville Wran, the review outlined 31 recommendations to enhance the safety of mineworkers.

One of the recommendations was to establish a levy to be raised from the coal mining sector, metalliferous and other mines, the extractive industries sector, all exploration activities, and oil and gas extraction.

The levy will apply to employers in the mining industry and will bring the mining industry into line with other industries that currently pay the costs of their workplace safety regulation through the WorkCover scheme.

Money collected will go into a special fund that will be used for mine safety purposes and to fund the safety functions of the NSW Department of Primary Industries in relation to mining, together with the administrative costs of collection.

The amount of the levy is yet to be determined but so far the DPI has said its director-general would estimate it based on wages data provided by the insurers.

From next financial year the levy will be collected through workers compensation insurers including Coal Mines Insurance, WorkCover and some self-insurers.

The Mine Safety (Cost Recovery) Act 2005 was passed last November to enable the levy to be raised.

The DPI said it would continue to consult with key industry stakeholders on how the levy will be used and the benefits it will provide.