As of 1 July 2020, serious resources safety and health prosecutions are being referred to the independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, Aaron Guilfoyle. This follows the proclamation of recent legislative amendments.
Mr Guilfoyle welcomed the new arrangements.
“I look forward to working closely with the new regulator and other key stakeholders,” Mr Guilfoyle said.
“I am confident my office is well positioned to provide an efficient and effective prosecution service for serious resources safety and health offences.
“We will be focused on timeliness in the prosecution of these offences, including the newly enacted industrial manslaughter offences.
“Through our work, we’re aiming to help improve safety and reduce serious injuries and fatalities in the Queensland resources sector.”
An independent regulator, Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ), has been established to regulate safety and health in the resources sector, together with a new Commissioner for Resources Safety and Health.
Serious RSH prosecutions already underway are being transferred to the WHS Prosecutor and, from here on in, RSHQ will refer briefs of evidence to the Office of the WHS Prosecutor (OWHSP) in all future serious offence prosecutions.
The change to this prosecution process follows amendments to the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999, the Explosives Act 1999, the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999, and the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004.
More information, as well as prosecutions news from the Office of the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor are at www.owhsp.qld.gov.au/news