Bill to impose Queensland mining regulations

West Coast Tasman Labour MP Damien O’Connor is pushing for New Zealand underground miners to be guaranteed the same regulatory protection their Queensland counterparts enjoy, as recommended by the Pike River Royal Commission.

“Our miners need better regulatory protection now and the Queensland regulations offer the fastest way of doing that.

“I will be putting a Bill that imposes the Queensland Underground Mines Regulations on all New Zealand mines into the next ballot after consultation with my colleagues.

“The Pike River Royal Commission recommended such change and to wait around for a Government that has been slow to heed warnings in the area of workers safety would be negligent.

“The Bill complements one put forward by my colleague, Andrew Little, that will impose liability on irresponsible company directors who fail to protect workers in their company.

“Monday is the anniversary of the most tragic day in recent mining and workplace history. We all have to learn from the terrible mistakes that were allowed to happen at Pike River mine and take swift action to implement recommendations of the Royal Commission.

“Prime Minister John Key has to step up as well and reassure families that money is available for the recovery of their men now that a re-entry plan has been developed for the mine drift.

“Monday will be an enormously poignant day for the families, and the West Coast mining community. We all have a responsibility to honour them with progress on the Royal Commission's findings and recommendations,” said Damien O’Connor.