CFMEU's Stephen Smyth
CFMEU's Stephen Smyth Lucy Martin

SHUT IT DOWN: Union calls for Qld coal mining halt

THE CFMEU has called for an urgent shut down of all Queensland coal mines following the tragic death of a worker at the Baralaba Coal Mine and serious injuries to a worker at Glencore's Collinsville Coal Mine today.

CFMEU Queensland district president Stephen Smyth said all Queensland coal mines should stop production for a minimum of 24 hours as a "show of respect" and to reflect.

"A suspension of production would be opportunity for the State Government, mining companies and workers to reset the industry's safety culture and practices," Mr Smyth said.

He said the reset would involve empowering all workers to voice any concerns about mine safety, companies committing to a set of principles to ensure workers can raise safety concerns without fear of reprisal, the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws, unannounced inspections by Industry Safety and Health Representatives (ISHRs) at all mines and strengthening the role and capacity of the industry regulator. 

"Every worker should return home safely at the end of their shift. There needs to be an urgent industry reset," Mr Smyth said.

He had previously called for an industry-wide shut down following last month's tragedy at Middlemount Mine, which resulted in the death of South Mackay grandfather David Routledge.

Mr Smyth said some mines in the Bowen Basin continued production as normal following that incident, while others failed to debrief concerned workers.