‘It’s a very bad thing’: Coal mines ‘firing all over the place’
Coal miners are on the move to the Sunshine Coast as the Federal Government steps up its fight to reduce the risk of bushfires and protect Australia’s most important industry.
Key points:The State Government has warned coal miners in Queensland to get rid of their old coal in a bid to save the industryKey points Coal mines have been the main focus of a Federal Government drive to reduce bushfire risk in QueenslandThe Queensland Government has called on its mines to move to safer locations after fires swept through the state’s coal industry.
It has also called for more stringent regulation of coal mining, and a crackdown on the dumping of waste.
In a statement, the State Government said it was committed to ensuring the safety of all Australian workers, and to ensuring that any coal mines that operate in Queensland remain in compliance with their obligations.
“The Government will continue to monitor and act on the risk to the community and the environment,” it said.
The Government has been under pressure to act after the deaths of three Queensland coal workers in two separate fires, and after a fire in the Southern Downs destroyed the entire mine in the past year.
The Queensland Health Authority and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QAFES) have reported a record number of fires in the region since July.
They are urging coal miners to leave their old equipment in the mines, as the state moves to make it more difficult for coal companies to dump waste and to stop burning it.
Queensland’s mining industry has faced significant pressure in recent years as the economy and the mining sector have struggled to keep pace with rising demand.
Quebec’s coal miners were the main target of a federal Government push to reduce risk of wildfires in Queensland and to protect Australia.
The Federal Government’s Queensland Rural Fire and Environment Program, launched last year, has seen coal miners and other industry workers moved to safer places to minimise the risk from bushfires.