Black lung victim Keith Stoddart and CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth.
Black lung victim Keith Stoddart and CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth. Lucy Smith

Black lung parliamentary inquiry started today

A MINING union has welcomed the first public hearings into black lung disease which started today.

The CFMEU hopes victims will get answers as the first day of public hearings for the Queensland parliamentary inquiry into black lung disease starts at 9am.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Division Queensland District President Stephen Smyth said this is a chance to clear the air and get the facts on the table about what went wrong and why.

"The fact is that those who oversaw the reemergence of this disease in government departments and mining companies were asleep at the wheel and that must never, never happen again,” Mr Smyth said.

"I hope those who appear will come before the committee with the intention to be fully open and transparent, with a genuine commitment to change.”

With the latest victim an open cut coal miner, Mr Smyth said the entire mining community was now on red alert.

"The number of cases diagnosed so far are a disaster, but this is going to get much bigger and much worse. We have still only seen the tip of theiceberg,” he said.

The public hearing continues on Monday at Queensland Parliament Committee Room 3 and is open to the public and media. 

Details of those in front of the Committee are available here: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/committees/CWPSC/2016/CWPINQ-tt-14Oct2016.pdf



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