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.
Michael Hall Glen Lazarus team
THE Glenn Lazarus Team is calling for an urgent national and comprehensive response to the issue and we will work with the government of the day to draft legislation to implement our policies, which include the need for a national body to manage the issue of coal dust across the country, the development of national standards, harmonisation of laws, the introduction of tougher penalties, increased and stricter monitoring, the creation of a dedicated health service to boost detection, treatment and research services and improved support and assistance for those affected. The issue of black lung needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency to ensure workers across the country working in the coal industry are not exposed to dangerous levels of coal dust and these harmful diseases.
Frank Gilbert ALP
ONE of Labor's core beliefs is that every worker is entitled to go to work, safe in the knowledge that they will return home to their family at the end of their day's work. It has been a genuine shock to see a resurgence of black lung in our community and a real warning about what can happen if we don't have sufficient regulation in our industries. The recent Senate report stated black lung is preventable through the control of coal dust. Dust suppression measures, increased monitoring and meticulous record keeping needs to be implemented throughout the coal mining sector. Monitoring of miner's health should continue after they have either retired or left the industry, to ensure the continued health of our workers.
Jonathon Dykyj The Greens
THE Greens support all of the recommendations from the Senate inquiry into this serious health issue. Any worker in any industry has the right to go to work every day and return home with their health and well-being undiminished. It appears that due to incompetence or negligence, mining companies and the government have not fulfilled their obligations in dust prevention and monitoring which is having tragic consequences. And it's not just miners who face the impacts from dust from mining operations - neighbouring communities to the mines, rail lines and ports, including Mackay city, all suffer. We will establish national standards and regulations for air quality monitoring, including better regulation of particulates from coal mines and infrastructure.
Steven Large Independent
AS FAR as I can see on the internet, there is a national coal dust exposure level recommendation set by safe work Australia called workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants, date of effect 22nd of December, 2011, (see safeworkaustralia.gov. au/sites/swa). This has two types of coal dust accounted for. These types have a recommendation, perhaps they need policing at the job site. If the workforce wants it policed more strongly, I will implement this.
George Christensen LNP
FROM a Federal Government perspective, anything that can be done to ensure the necessary research is undertaken to halt this insidious disease would have my full support. The re-emergence of black lung disease is a real concern for those who work in the underground coal industry and recommendations made by the Senate Select Committee on Health deserve full consideration. The key recommendations centre on coal dust mitigation measures and the adoption of a national coal dust exposure level and if the experts find that is what is needed, I would naturally support it. Many of the Senate recommendations were aimed at the State Government which is undertaking a lot of work in this space, as are the vast majority of underground coal mines.
Ashley Dodd Katter Australia Party
Yes I would support a national coal dust exposure level. The federal and state governments have an obligation to fulfill a duty of care towards the citizens of Australia. A Duty of care relates to many aspects of governance, such as, but not limited to, a duty of care towards the environment, health, economy, law and industrial relations. If the federal government fails to support a national coal dust exposure level policy that reduces the risk of Black Lung Disease re-occurring in its citizens ; then the federal government fails to fulfill its obligation to ensure its duty of care towards Australian citizens; Therefore it is absurd for the federal government to reject a policy that fulfills the obligation to care for its citizens.
Amanda Nickson Family First
IN Thailand and unavailable for comment.
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