Woman sues Queensland mine for racial and verbal abuse

An Indigenous woman is suing a coal mine in Queensland for over $1 million after claiming racial and verbal abuse, including threats to push her truck off a berm, left her with serious psychological damage.

In a claim before the Rockhampton Supreme Court the woman alleges her co-workers subjected her to intimidating behaviour and bullying during her work at the site.

The 54-year-old Mackay woman worked as a dump truck driver at Jellinbah mine between 2010 and 2011.

According to the claim the woman was often the brunt of racial taunts, sworn at and humiliated by other workers, The Bulletin reported.

It is alleged these workers did not want her at the mine and made false complaints about her competence as a dump truck driver.

In one instance it is claimed co-workers threatened to push her truck off a steep embankment while she was in it.

The woman is suing Jellinbah Resources who own the mine, contract company Watpac Civil and Mining and a recruitment agency on the grounds of negligence and a breach of duty of care.

Solicitor George Cowan, who is representing the woman, said his client was exposed to "unacceptable work practices".

"She is unable to return to the mining industry due to her psychiatric injuries," Cowan said.

"My client is looking forward to having her claim determined by the Supreme Court so that she can move on with her life."

The Jellinbah Group was not available for comment at the time of publication.

Watpac Civil and Mining told Australian Mining chief executive of the company Martin Monro was unable to comment on the matter.

However Monro said the “safety and well-being of all employees, contractors and members of the community is an absolute priority”.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.