The proposed statutory company will be headed by a CEO who will report directly to the Minister instead of through a department. The Bill also seeks to establish an independent Commissioner for Resources Safety and Health (replacing the Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health) whose roles are to provide advice to the Minister and to review and report on RSHQ's operations. Serious offences will be pursued by the recently established Work Health and Queensland Prosecutor – aimed at promoting consistency and efficiency and which may result in an uplift in front-foot regulatory activity. We think the context of these changes (with six recent serious incidents) likely forecasts an increased and more robust proclivity to prosecute in respect of mine safety incidents.
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If you require further information or have any queries in relation to this legal alert, please contact Matthew Smith or Andrew Ross.
We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Lachlan Thomas to this article.