Mining union slams Govt over committee quota
QUEENSLAND'S peak mining union urged the State Government to put the safety of workers before gender quotas just days before the fifth industry fatality in 12 months, a scathing letter has revealed.
In a letter sent to the Government, the CFMEU slammed the handling of appointments to the Coal Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee which did not meet for months because it had not met its gender quota.
The letter, dated June 19, was sent a week before David Routledge died after a high wall collapsed on the excavator he was operating at a Middlemount coal mine.
In the letter, addressed to Mines Minister Anthony Lynham, the CFMEU's Greg Dalliston said the issue had been "allowed to occur for too long" and the union would not be attending any meetings.
Mr Dalliston said the union would continue to raise health and safety matters with the inspectorate or the minister.
The extraordinary letter was revealed in Right to Information documents obtained by The Courier-Mail.
The documents also reveal Dr Lynham wrote to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk twice about the appointments over seven months, including one sent just days before Mr Routledge's death.
Appointments were not made until July 9 - two days after Jack Gerdes died at a quarry near Collinsville.
At the time, Dr Lynham said: "Our Government is committed to getting more women on boards but health and safety always comes first."
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington slammed the revelations as a "massive scandal", claiming Labor's gender politics had put mine workers at risk. "For a mine safety committee not to meet because of gender representation issues shows that Annastacia Palaszczuk's priorities are all wrong," she said.
A spokesman for Ms Palaszczuk said: "As is often the case with Ms Frecklington, just because she says something doesn't make it true."