Queensland’s Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace met with current and former coal workers in Rockhampton to discuss the impacts of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), how it impacts Queensland coal workers and how workers can access support, including compensation and health screenings.
Ms. Grace said the forum, organised by WorkCover Queensland, was part of an ongoing discussion about the workers’ compensation process for coal workers diagnosed with black lung.
Representatives from the Office of Industrial Relations and Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy were on hand to answer any questions.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to tackling this insidious disease and support those workers affected by it,” Ms Grace said.
“That’s why in 2017, the Palaszczuk Government introduced laws that delivered stronger workers’ compensation protections for Queenslanders suffering from CWP or another form of dust lung disease.
“We know that a diagnosis of CWP, or other mine dust lung disease, can impact all aspects of a worker’s life and cause significant personal and financial distress.
“We want to reaffirm the message to anyone who has developed these insidious diseases through their work, that there is support available.
“Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme provides income support and covers medical expenses, rehabilitation and return to work, as well as providing lump sum payments for eligible workers.”
Ms. Grace said that in 2017 Palaszczuk Government expedited the claims process for workers with mine dust lung diseases, so they could get support quickly, as well as introducing an additional lump sum payment for those with CWP and silicosis.
“Today’s forum is the perfect opportunity for current or former coal workers who have questions or would like more information to gain a better understanding of their rights and the support available to them.
“We want to make sure that everyone is up to date and fully informed.”
Information on the workers’ compensation process for workers diagnosed with mine dust diseases is at worksafe.qld.gov.au