A re-emergence of black lung in Queensland and New South Wales is and issue that needs to be addressed, we asked federal candidates for Dawson and Capricornia how they will deal with this serious issue.
Lindsey Temple Family First
WITH the advanced technology filtering air, I find it astonishing that black lung could re-emerge. Complacency can creep into any sector. The right filter masks need to be available and used in high risk areas. I would support sensible practical measures to minimise exposure to black lung.
Kate Giamarelos The Greens
MAKING a living should not shorten your life expectancy. Coal miners have been systemically neglected with health and safety taking a backseat to profits. Acceptable dust levels must be lowered, not only to protect miners in the field, but to protect the surrounding community, including those along rail corridors and ports. The Greens support a national Clean Air Act, and will keep pushing for binding, ambitious national controls for pollution, especially fine particulate pollution. Establishing an independent body of testing, improving health screening, and redressing mine safety regulations is critical to protect the lives of future employees.
Leisa Neaton ALP
THE Senate report stated black lung is completely preventable through the control of coal dust. It is tragic to see the resurgence of this previously extinguished condition and a warning about what can occur when sufficient regulation isn't in place. Dust suppression measures and appropriate monitoring procedures need to be implemented. Coal miners and their families need to be able to feel assured that they are safe at work and that their employer takes the threat seriously. We also need to be sure we keep accurate records for employees so any future claims can be assessed and appropriate medical treatment and compensation can be arranged in what has become a very transient industry. Ongoing monitoring should continue.
Laurel Carter Katter Australia Party
COAL dust levels should always have been monitored. This government is so busy giving tax breaks and helping out the multinational companies that they have forgotten about the ordinary worker. A few more precautions for the little people as well as the health of the surrounding communities needs to be put in the spotlight rather than raking in the profits with no thought of the consequences. It's called duty of care.
Ken Murray Independent
WE NEED a National Australian Standard best-practice monitoring of coal dust in our Capricornia coal mines, with Federal legislation to back it up, if we are going to avoid more cases of pneumoconiosis or coal miners' black lung disease emerging. We need to treat the causes and not just the effects. It needs to be a nationally co-ordinated monitoring approach, because, of the current seven cases of black lung disease being primarily in cases where miners have worked in underground mines in other states as well as Queensland. I would support the introduction of Federal law, where companies must be required take steps to reduce their workers' risk and to monitor their worker's good health.
Michelle Landry LNP
THE re-emergence of black lung in Queensland is of great concern. Although Australia has a proud health and safety record across the resources sector, there can be no shortcuts when it comes to safety. This is why the Coalition Government has agreed with the Queensland Resources Minister that these matters will be placed on the agenda for the July COAG Energy Council meeting. This will enable all Australian energy ministers to collectively discuss these issues in the mining sector at a national table, ensuring all states and territories are on the same page, and enabling an appropriate and coordinated response. We will then be able to back a national strategy for overcoming this issue.
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