Moranbah North incidents may call for tough action: Minister

QUEENSLAND Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said today if the investigations into recent incidences at Anglo Coal’s Moranbah North mine call for tough action, he will make no apology for doing so.

Staff Reporter

Wilson held a series of meetings in Brisbane today with mine safety inspectors, union delegates and representatives from Anglo Coal Australia to discuss safety issues at the Moranbah North minesite in Central Queensland.

The minister’s request for meetings with all stakeholders follows the series of recent incidents at the mine.

“My decision to convene these meetings was reinforced by an incident that occurred at the mine, when a section of roof subsided on Tuesday,” Wilson said.

“The incident also reinforces the importance of all parties working together to determine the full extent of risks at the minesite and any action that needs to be taken.”

Anglo Coal Australia took the opportunity to brief Wilson on the company’s “intensive and wide-ranging” workplace safety program.

“Anglo has a strongly entrenched culture of safety in its operations and this is backed by a highly trained workforce,” an Anglo spokesperson said.

“Details of each incident, all of which had previously been reported to the relevant site, industry and Mines Inspectorate officials, were discussed with the minister.

“We believe Anglo’s response to the incidents was entirely appropriate and we appreciate the minister’s swift response in agreeing to the meeting to enable us to present our safety credentials to him.”

The Mines Inspectorate is continuing its investigations into a number of incidents at the Moranbah North mine.

“Last week, I requested the Director-General of Mines and Energy to ensure the Mines Inspectorate thoroughly investigates these incidents at the Anglo Coal mine and to provide me with a detailed report on completion of the investigations,” Wilson said.

“I’ll await the outcome of the investigations, but if it’s found that tough action needs to be taken, I make no apology for taking tough action.”

Wilson said he had held talks over the last few weeks with mining companies and mining industry workers to reinforce the importance of meeting high industry safety standards.

“As minister, I expect, and the Government expects, all industry stakeholders to ensure that high safety standards are met and maintained. The safety of our miners comes first,” he said.

Keep watching International Longwall News for more information on the outcome of the meetings held today.