Following a series of coal mine disasters in the 80s and early 90s in Australia, a trend to move away from prescriptive to risk based legislative frameworks for mine safety gathered significant momentum. In one Australian jurisdiction, the state of Queensland, two mine safety Acts built on the risk based approach were introduced in 1999 - one for coal mines and one for metalliferous mines - which have led to arguably the best safety performance in a mining jurisdiction in the world. The approach relies on a single integrated safety management system for each mine, anticipation of hazards, control of risk and prevention of incidents. The legislation has high standards of duty and awareness requirements for everyone involved in the industry, and it demands extensive knowledge at the mine site about managing risk and the need for workforce involvement on mine sites. Formal risk management competencies are required by legislation for many of those holding management and other statutory positions in mines. This paper will cover how the risk based legal framework operates and the role and approach of the mines inspectorate in regulating mine safety under this type of framework.