Hunter mines bullying attracts attention

Hunter Valley mine workers have made more claims about workplace bullying than any region in NSW, new figures show.

With 24 claims of bullying reported in NSW mining operations between 2012-13 and May this year, 17 related to operations in the Hunter Valley.

Out of all 24 cases, 15 were referred back to the mining company to investigate.

Eight of those cases referred back to the company were at Hunter Valley mines.

14 complaints were made in 2013-14, but were not investigated by the Department of Trade and Investment until 2014-15.

Newcastle Herald reported Greens MP David Shoebridge has said it was “worse than slipshod” of the government to have mining companies investigate their own cases of workplace bullying.

“When you speak to workers who have been through this process, they say they get a cursory review of their complaint, then go to the independent government regulator seeking help, only to be ground through yet another process involving the company,” he said.

NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee said there was no evidence that issues of bullying were any more prevalent than in other industries.