Dale Last, Member for Burdekin.
Dale Last, Member for Burdekin.

Miner death to rock 'close-knit' community: Burdekin MP

THE tragic death of a Middlemount coal worker will be felt by the "close-knit" community for some time, Burdekin MP Dale Last says.

The Shadow Mines Minister said his thoughts were with the family and friends of the worker, who was killed on Wednesday afternoon at the Central Queensland mine site after a high wall collapsed on the excavator he was inside.

"My condolences go out to the family and friends," he said.

"This incident will really rock the close-knit Middlemount community and no doubt there will be much interest in the investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident."

Located about 250km south of Mackay, Middlemount has a population of 1841 people.


Middlemount Coal mine in Central Queensland.
Middlemount Coal mine in Central Queensland. Melanie Whiting

When asked whether he thought three deaths at Queensland coal mines in six months was a worrying figure, Mr Last said there were "significant risks" involved in the mining sector.

"I know a lot of mining companies are very focused on workplace health and safety and the welfare of their employees," he said.

"It is imperative that we learn from these incidents and never take our eye off the ball in terms of improving safety on mine sites.

"I would hope that a thorough investigation is conducted in a timely manner and any recommendations are implemented as a priority."

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham confirmed the Mines Inspectorate would conduct a "thorough" investigation.

"My deepest sympathy goes out to the family, friends and colleagues of the mine worker who died in yesterday's incident," Dr Lynham said.

"Every single worker deserves to come home safe at the end of every day. For that not to happen is a terrible tragedy.

"Every effort will be made to ensure the ongoing safety of all our mine workers."

The CFMEU says the shocking death must serve as a "wake-up call" for improving safety and practices.