Mine safety laws under review

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The Queensland Supreme Court has quashed the right of BMA and the CFMEU to organise elections for health and safety representatives at coalmines.

In his ruling Judge Glenn Martin rejected claims by BMA and the Construction, Mining, and Energy Union that they should control the elections.

While rejecting both claims Martin said the court could not provide a solution and instead referred the issue back to the State parliament.

The judge dismissed BMA’s argument a senior executive should run the elections because they were responsible for the mine’s health and safety.

It also rejected the CFMEU’s argument it should take control because it had already been running elections and it was the representative body for mine workers.

Martin also discarded the CFMEU claim elections should be run by a body that did not have a potential financial interest in sidestepping safety.

The State Government is now working to review the Coal Mine Safety and Health Act following the ruling.

Martin said the argument was a “fortunately rare” example that needed to be addressed by new legislation or regulation.

The Government said a review into the law was currently underway but it was too early to say what changes would be made.

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