Budget boon for Mines Inspectorate

THE new look Queensland Mines Inspectorate will receive part of the $3 million extra funding over four years the State Budget yesterday dedicated towards mine safety initiatives.

Angie Tomlinson

Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said additional funding will help finalise recommendations from the Review of the Queensland Mines Inspectorate.

Wilson said the introduction of an Advanced Diploma in Workplace Inspection for safety and health inspectors would strengthen inspection services.

“The new diploma course will start in 2007-08. It will be open to all mines inspectors and will build on their skills base," the minister said.

He said the Mines Inspectorate would continue its unannounced, targeted safety audits at a range of coal and metalliferous mines across Queensland.

“Some of the early findings hang a lantern on serious safety issues which is exactly what they were designed to do. This vital work will continue," he said.

“Other initiatives include a range of reforms to mining safety and health services, including upgrades to the extensive databases used by the Mines Inspectorate.”

The State Government will also continue to manage and rehabilitate abandoned minesites with $8.2 million set aside over four years.

The 2007 State Budget also dedicated more than $206 million to continue the expansion of Queensland's largest port and upgrade of roads in the Gladstone area.

Another $103 million will be put towards the RG Tanna Coal Terminal, which will include:

  • $103 million for construction of stockpiles 19, 20 and 21, and a third outloading stream. The works will eventually boost capacity at RG Tanna from its current 40 million tonnes to its ultimate target of 68Mt of coal annually.
  • $2.4 million in 2007-08 for an improved dust suppression system throughout the terminal.
  • $500,000 in 2007-08 to complete the $16.1 million third rail loop at the terminal.