1 Aug 2013

Safety changes too broad, says gold mining firm

12:28 pm on 1 August 2013

A gold mining company says aspects of legislation to improve mine safety in the wake of the Pike River disaster should not apply to mines that are above ground and are not coal mines.

Parliament's Transport and Industrial Relations Committee has been hearing submissions on the bill to improve health and safety in the mining sector.

The legislation stems from recommendations by the Royal Commission into the Pike River coal mine tragedy in which 29 workers were killed.

Oceania Gold general manger Bernie O'Leary said the commission recommended check inspectors for underground coal mines, but the bill proposes them right across the mining and quarrying industry.

He says that goes too far because union-appointed health and safety officers in mines could stop work even if there's no immediate threat to workers.

"It's a pretty powerful part of the act and quite frankly a scary proposition in the hands of an ill informed or maybe overly eager representative."