Finance Work Worker killed underground at central Queensland mine

Worker killed underground at central Queensland mine

worker dies queensland mine
Work at the mine has been suspended after the man's death. Photo: AAP
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The Queensland government is facing fresh calls for an inquiry into mine safety after the death of another worker an underground coal mine.

The worker was killed about 11.50pm on Monday at the Carborough Downs mine site at Coppabella in the Bowen Basin.

It’s the seventh death at Queensland mines and quarries in the past 18 months.

Mine owner Fitzroy Australia Resources has suspended operations at the site and said it was supporting the dead worker’s family and colleagues.

The mining union said the death was particularly devastating, given a major mine safety reset earlier this year aimed at preventing more fatalities.

“It’s just a terrible year. It’s just totally unacceptable where we’re at,” the CFMEU’s Stephen Smyth has told ABC radio.

“Nobody should be in any doubt that something’s got to happen.”

The safety reset was sparked by the death of 27-year-old Jack Gerdes in July.

He died from massive head injuries when he got caught between an excavator and safety stairs at the Baralaba North coal mine in central Queensland.

Crisis talks between industry and the government led to more money being promised for mine inspectors.

Queensland’s 50,000 mine and quarry workers completed refresher safety courses, and the government promised to consider extending industrial manslaughter laws to the resources sector.

There have also been reviews into the effectiveness of mining health and safety regulations, and why mine workers have died and how safety can be improved generally.

On Tuesday, the state opposition repeated its demand for a parliamentary mine safety inquiry.

The Labor government voted down the same call when it was made in August, with Mines Minister Anthony Lynham saying it would divert attention, time and resources from immediate action to boost safety.

Dr Lynham says his thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the latest miner to die.

“The mines inspectorate will investigate fully, an inspector is already on site,” he said.

Fitzroy Australia Resources chief executive Grant Polwarth said the company was co-operating with investigators.

“The deceased is a long-term employee of Fitzroy Australia Resources,” Mr Polwarth said.

“Mine workers are being progressively briefed on the incident as they arrive on-site to commence their shifts and the company has made counselling services available to these workers.”