Greens on Mining Safety

15th May 2010 - Hon Alison Xamon and Robin Chapple MLC

The Greens recognise that the Barnett Government and Industry are keen to move to self regulation in relation to workers safety; however the Greens believe this is going entirely in the wrong direction and that Government should be looking at increasing regulations, not relaxing them.

All three major Parties supported the recent passage of the Mines Safety and Inspection Amendment Bill 2009, recognizing the urgency to ensure more Mines Inspectors and the need for Industry to contribute towards funding this, however simply increasing the number of Mines Inspectors is not the silver bullet.

There must be a multi faceted and mandated approach to mines safety.

The need to increase regulations is even more urgent in the light of an anticipated increase in the mining sector which will occur in the next 12 months and beyond.

There are many additional strategies which must be looked at and increasing workers participation in determining their own safety is a paramount.  We also need to recognise the important of increased union participation as recognised stakeholders, mandatory training, protection of OSH reps, the harmonisation of Occupation Health and Safety laws, risk management, resolving jurisdictional disputes, and most importantly the introduction of an increase in penalties.

In the past 12 years there have been 3 reviews of the Mines Act and multiple inquiries, the solutions are well documented and now is the time for the political will to implement them.

As such, the Greens call for an urgent judicial inquiry in order to pull together the consistent recommendations, create an action plan and importantly a time frame for implementation and action.

It is time for all parties to get serious about workers safety. This is about workers lives and the lives of their families.


Hon Alison Xamon MLC

Member for the East Metropolitan Region

Phone: 08 9272 1718


Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

Phone: (08) 9486 8255



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