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Rocky To Host Black Lung Forum

Black Lung Disease By Woodson, LeRoy, photographer, Photographer - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain.jpg

Image By Woodson, LeRoy, photographer, Photographer (NARA record: 2368875) - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain.

Rockhampton will host a Black Lung forum this month.

The Mine Dust Diseases Victims Group has organised the event to inform current and former coal miners about debilitating and often deadly Black Lung coal mine dust diseases.

Victims Group advocate Jim Pearce said 105 current and retired Queensland coal industry workers have now been diagnosed with industrial lung disease.

“We are aware that there at least 200 more workers going through the testing and diagnosis process,” Mr Pearce said.

“The forums are an opportunity for workers and families to learn about the recognition of Black Lung – how it impacts victims, how to navigate the assessment process, and importantly, the risk associated with seeking compensation.”

Mr Pearce said the Victims Group has come to better understand the financial and health hardship that victims are being burdened with.

“Workers at hundreds of coal and related coal dust-bearing workplaces risk of years of illness and possible death because of excessive exposure.

“We know that victims and families are paying a terrible price for the failure of mining companies to provide a safe workplace, and due to successive State Governments falling asleep at the wheel when it came to enforcement of regulations.

“The failure of medical professionals to properly diagnose only added to the pain and suffering.”

Mr Pearce said the Victims Group is demanding coal producers such as BHP pay one cent per tonne, per week, into a fund to assist workers purchase best-practice technology and expertise.

“We are also lobbying for a mobile van for local testing and assessment of coal industry employees.”

Forums will start at 6.30pm.

FORUM DETAILS

Rockhampton: Monday April 15, Rockhampton Leagues Club
Mackay: Tuesday April 16, Shamrock Hotel Conference Room
Moranbah: Wednesday April 17, Moranbah Community Workers Club