Public hearings for an mining safety inquiry, set up after a central Queensland coal mine explosion that seriously injured five men, will begin in August.
The board of inquiry established by the state government following the May 6 Grosvenor mine incident will hold hearings from August 4 at the Brisbane Magistrates Court, with hearings also live-streamed.
Inquiry chairman Terry Martin, SC, said the first set of public hearings would not focus on the Grosvenor incident, as there were still investigations under way. Instead, the first set of hearings would investigate the Queensland Mines Inspectorate, industry safety and mine management.
The Grosvenor underground explosion, at the Anglo-American-owned mine near Moranbah, sent shockwaves through the industry and shut down the mine for weeks.
Four of the five men seriously injured by a methane blast were still in a Brisbane hospital as of last week but out of intensive care, while the fifth man was released from hospital earlier.
“Investigations into all of these matters continue but more needs to be done before witnesses are called at public hearings,” Mr Martin said.“These public hearings in August will concern the role of the Inspectorate, the role of the industry and site safety and health representatives, how the management structure and employment arrangements of the mining companies may impact on mine safety, as well as the methane exceedances at Grasstree, Moranbah North and Oaky North mines.”
Mr Martin said while members of the public could watch the hearings through live streams on the inquiry website, or attend in person, the inquiry was also looking at ways to help regional people watch.
“We understand the importance of this inquiry to regional Queensland mining communities and we are investigating additional viewing facilities in regional locations,” he said.
Information can be submitted to the inquiry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by July 17.