Queensland to penalise industrial manslaughter

The Queensland Government has tabled a bill for industrial manslaughter in state parliament to strengthen safety culture in the resources sector.

The legislation amendment bill sets out a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, or 100,000 penalty units, to an employer deemed responsible for causing the death of a mine worker.

This includes those who die in the course of work involving explosives.

The Queensland mining and quarrying industries have recorded eight fatalities during the past 18 months.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Ian Macfarlane expressed his concern that the proposed legislation unintentionally weakened the mine safety reforms introduced two decades ago.

In 1994, a tragedy at the Moura 2 underground mine claimed 11 lives.

“QRC believes it is critical the reforms developed in the wake of that tragedy remain in force and are built upon,” Macfarlane said.

“QRC will continue to work with the government and unions to achieve that end.”

The industry body plans to make a formal submission the parliamentary committee that will examine the bill.

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