The Queensland Parliament has appointed a six-person Parliamentary select committee to inquire into black lung’s resurgence in the state, and find ways to prevent it.
Named the Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (CWP) select committee, it will have the powers of a parliamentary committee to call for witnesses and gain access to documents related to the disease, building on the findings already generated from the Monash University review and the Senate Inquiry.
The select committee will report to the Legislative Assembly by April 12 2017.
While conducting the inquiry, the committee will take into consideration:
- The legislative and other regulatory arrangements of government and industry which have existed in Queensland to eliminate and prevent CWP;
- Whether these arrangements were adequate, and have been adequately and effectively maintained over time;
- The roles of government departments and agencies, mine operators, nominated medical advisers, radiologists, industry safety and health representatives and unions representing coal mine workers in these arrangements;
- The study into CWP undertaken by Monash University and the findings of the Senate Select Committee on Health (Fifth Interim Report) and other relevant reports and studies;
- The efficacy and efficiency of adopting methodologies and processes for coal mine dust measurement and mitigation, including monitoring regimes, engineering measures, personal protective equipment, statutory requirements, and mine policies and practices, including practices in jurisdictions with similar coal mining industries; and
- Other matters the committee determines are relevant, including other respiratory diseases associated with underground mining.
“We’re now tackling this disease on three fronts – prevention, early detection and a safety net for workers with this disease,” natural resources and mines minister Anthony Lynham said.
“A lot more remains to be done, but with coordinated action, combined purpose and a sound scientific basis, we have already made significant progress.”
Earlier this week the CFMEU backed the Black Lung Victims Group’s call for a 10c a tonne industry funded compensation levy for victims of the disease.