A look at Mt Rawdon mine.
A look at Mt Rawdon mine. Marissa Newman

New legislation to protect the safety of miners

THE State Government has recently passed new regulations to keep miners safe, with mining companies now facing penalties close to $4 million.

Of the many sweeping changes, mines inspectors also have broadened powers, with the power to issue on-the-spot fines of up to $130,550 without taking them to court.

They will also have more power to intervene on health and safety issues.

In addition, individuals who are found in breach will now also face fines of up to $783,000 or three years imprisonment.

Minister for Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said the changes reflected the government's view that non-compliance of health and safety obligations would not be tolerated.

"This helps to protect those who work, day after day, managing the unique hazards and risks of mining, and the social fabric of families and communities around our mining workers,” he said.

"It also helps to bolster the reputation of the mining industry which forms a substantial part of Queensland's economic prosperity.

"To uphold our track record, we need to ensure it remains contemporary and reflects the risks of a modern mine site.”