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Bill offers better protection for miners



MP for West Coast Tasman
24 October 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Bill offers better protection for miners

West Coast Tasman Labour MP, Damien O’Connor, has welcomed the selection of his bill, designed to improve safety for underground miners, in today’s Members’ Bills ballot.

The Underground Coal Mining Safety Bill was drafted following the Royal Commission report on the Pike River mining disaster which identified failures in the regulatory framework to protect the safety of miners working underground.

“The bill guarantees Kiwi miners the same protection provided to their Queensland counterparts.

“Those regulations have been accepted as international best practice and this bill mandates the Government to implement the equivalent health and safety framework within 30 days of the bill coming into force.

“The Government has recently introduced health and safety amendments and has implemented a number of changes following the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

“However, my bill will provide an additional opportunity to scrutinise the progress made so far and, if necessary, to introduce the already proven Queensland mining regulations.

“I hope the Government will support my bill to select committee where any improvements and updates can be made. There is endorsement across all political parties that we must end up with the highest standards of health and safety for New Zealanders working underground.

“I look forward to a widespread discussion in the select committee with industry, union and health and safety experts to refine the bill with the support of all of Parliament.”


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