Western Australia has employed its first Aboriginal mines inspector, who was welcomed into the role by mines minister Bill Marmion.
With four new inspectors sworn in at the Department of Mines and Petroleum, Marmion said they had a combined 90 years of experience working in the mining industry.
"Their skills, knowledge and commitment to safety are unquestionable, and they will be a vital addition to Western Australia's mine safety inspectorate," Marmion said.
New mines inspectors Clinton Woosnam, Warren Mitchell, Gary Clinch and Bradford Sheldrick completed six months of training and testing to qualify, bringing the number of inspectors in the state to a team of 70.
"Not only do they have a comprehensive understanding of day-to-day operations, they also have a passion for safety,” Marmion said.
"As inspectors they have an opportunity to use their skills and experience to make a difference to safety across Western Australia's mining industry."
In order to become a mines inspector, candidates must have tertiary qualifications or accreditation as a mine shift boss, as well as extensive experience.
Marmion said he was particularly pleased that Western Australias first Aboriginal Special Inspector of Mines, Clinton Woosnam, had been appointed.
"I hope his success encourages more Aboriginal people into the industry and the Department of Mines and Petroleum," Marmion said.
"Clinton Woosnam has a family history of mining and I am delighted he has managed to realise one of his long-held ambitions.
"The dedication and professionalism of all our new inspectors will further strengthen WA's safety culture and the mine safety inspectorate."