Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as McKensey, B, Ellicott, C and Webb, N, MSR (Mine Safety Rescue) implementation and progress, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 1998: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1998, 660-667.


In November 1996 the NSW Minister for Mineral Resources, Ron Bob Martin MP, commissioned ACiL Economics and Policy Pty Ltd to conduct a wide ranging review of safety within the Nt:w South Wales mining industry . The review was a response to a disturbing number of fatalities which had occurred in the industry during the Minister's tenn of office together with a number of alanning near misses whert: serious failures in mining systems had occurred. Shortly after the review was commissioned, four mine workers died at Gretley Colliery near Newcastle. An inquiry is currently being conducted into the incident. ACiL were given the following terms of reference for the MSR (MSR): Identify key issues which need to be addressed before a significant and measurable improvement in mine safety performance, and an observable reduction in the potential for serious safety incidents, can be expected. 2. Explore options for addressing these key issues, through consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. 3. Consider how the findings of the Warden's Court Inquiry into the 1994 Moura Mine disaster should be applied in New South Wales. 4. Evaluate the role, activities, structure, employment conditions, and resourcing of the State's Mines Inspectorates in light of the identified key issues. 5. Evaluate existing legislative provisions in the light of the identified key issues. 6. Provide Government with recommendations on how mine safety in New South Wales could be enhanced, with particular regard to the potential contribution of the Inspectorates. The ACiL report titled "Review of Mine Safety in NSW" was tabled in Parliament by the Minister in April 1997. The review considered industry safety perfonnance and its measurement through considering available statistics, drawing on submissions and, predominantly seeking the views of a broad cross sec:tion of industry and Government personnel. This included mine managers, inspectors, union officials and the workforce. In its report, the MSR makes numerous observations concerning issue~; of safety and the mining industry. Arising from those observations the review made forty four (44) recommendations (See Appendix A) for either consideration or action to address the issues identified.