Mining IQ

New Mining Safety Act for NSW

The introduction of the Work Health and Safety (Mines) Bill 2013 (NSW) (the Bill) on 23 May 2013 marked the final step towards NSW implementing harmonised workplace health and safety (WHS) laws. The proposed laws introduce some significant changes in mining safety that have been reviewed in light of recent mining accidents, including the Pike River Coal Mining Disaster which killed 29 workers in New Zealand in 2010.

The Bill
The Bill will replace the current legislative regime imposed by the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act 2002 (NSW) and the Mine Health and Safety Act 2004 (NSW) to create one Act to regulate both coal and metalliferous mining.

The New Zealand Royal Commission into the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy (Pike River Royal Commission) recently identified the importance of early intervention in safety design and regulation to prevent mining accidents from occurring. In his second reading speech, NSW Resources and Energy Minister Chris Hartcher said that the Bill meets the "appropriate standards" recommended by the Final Report of the Pike River Royal Commission which are intended to prevent further such mining tragedies from occurring.

The Bill is to be read in conjunction with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) (WHS Act) and provides for consistent regulatory powers and functions. The intention is to achieve regulation through the existing framework of the WHS Act, while providing additional obligations which take into account the inherent risks of mining.
The introduction of the Bill will help NSW to secure $79 million of reward funding under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Partnership Agreement to deliver a seamless national economy.

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New Mining Safety Act for NSW.

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