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Costo Demands Mines Minister Quits After Latest Fatality

NQ FIRST Leader and Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has called on Labor's Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham to resign after another fatality on the Central Queensland coalfields.

The latest death, at the Curragh mine near Blackwater, means that eight coal miners or coal workers have died at Queensland mine sites in the past 20 months, an "utterly disgraceful and sad situation” according to Mr Costigan.

“I wish to place on record my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of this latest victim and kindly ask that people in my electorate and beyond, especially those who work in the coal industry, hold these people in their thoughts and prayers,” Mr Costigan said from Parliament House.

“However, the tough questions need to be asked and whilst this latest tragedy is now the subject of a thorough investigation, as you would expect, you have to wonder about what is going on in Queensland's multi-billion dollar coal mining sector when it comes to workplace safety and how the Palaszczuk Labor Government is addressing these matters.

"I've grilled the Minister on this before and whilst workplace safety, in particular, mine safety is everyone's business, it is the Minister who must lead from the front.  Sadly, however, Dr Anthony Lynham has presided over an absolute disaster – a dark 18 months in the history of our coal mining sector in Queensland.

"This is the same bloke who refuses to establish the Mine Safety and Health Authority in Mackay, as per those recommendations of the Queensland Parliament's Coal Workers Pneumoniosis (CWP) Select Committee, of which I proudly served as a member and so with his form and another fatality, it's time for him to go.

“Given this utterly disgraceful and sad situation, Labor's Mines Minister should resign and if he refuses to do that as well, then the Premier should step in and sack him.”

News Corp is reporting that the victim, 33-year-old Donald Rabbitt, was minutes from finishing his shift when he was killed.

By Michelle Brewer