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Mining deaths on the rise: QRC chief

Kelly Butterworth

THE head of the state's mining body has confirmed there is likely to be an increase in the number of mining deaths this financial year, even though the industry's safety record has been improving.

Queensland Resources Council chief Michael Roche said they would likely have a spike in fatalities this financial year after a man was killed when a tyre exploded at a Dawson coal mine in the Bowen Basin early Monday.

"I am sick and tired of hearing about fatalities involving tyre explosions," Mr Roche said.

"I've been in this job for 10 years. The first such experience was in 2006, I just can't believe that it continues to happen."

Mr Roche said he had contacted all of the council's top companies in the hope of bringing bosses together to talk about the industry's safety and improve it.

He spoke to media following a forum with the new Palaszczuk Government at Parliament House on Tuesday.

The mining chief also said he was not concerned about the future of the Galilee Basin or 100% FIFO mines.

Throughout the election campaign, Labor said it supported the Galilee Basin projects but would not spend taxpayer money on a railway line connecting the Galilee to the sea.

It also said it would not support further 100% FIFO mines.

Mr Roche said QRC would speak to the new government to work out other ways it could support Galilee Basin projects.

"It won't be through a government investment into the rail line but there may be other ways it can send those positive signals to the investment community globally," Mr Roche said.

He also was not concerned at Labor's position on 100% FIFO mines, saying that the new government's intention was to create local job opportunities.

Mr Roche said he was vocal during the election campaign because he was worried about potential changes to approval conditions of mining projects.

"I am confident that we can avoid retrospective changes to approval conditions," he said. "What we have heard from the government is they want more opportunities for locals and I'm sure we can deliver that."

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  editors picks mining workplace health and safety


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