Investigations are continuing at a central Queensland coal mine after a 54-year-old man, working as an experienced dragline operator, died while on duty at the site on the weekend.

Key points:

  • CFMEU Queensland mining and energy division president Stephen Smyth says Mr Peadon was very well-liked
  • Mine operations remain suspended while investigations continue
  • It is the second death at the mine in less than two years

Described by his employer Coronado Global Resources as a “highly respected member of the team”, Clark Peadon had worked at the Curragh mine, north of Blackwater, since 2006. 

As a long-term resident of The Caves, north of Rockhampton, Mr Peadon was also a member of the Rural Fire Service.

His death has sent shock waves through the area, with tributes pouring out on social media.

CFMEU Queensland mining and energy division president Stephen Smyth said the team was devastated, and that Mr Peadon was “very well-liked”. 

“Certainly, it’s affecting them immensely,” Mr Smyth said.

“I’ve spoken to a few of the guys. It’s going to take a period of time for them to move on — if you can ever move on from such a tragic accident in a workplace.”

Mine operations remain suspended while investigations continue.

Coronado Global Resources said it was working with the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, police, and other authorities.

“Our thoughts are with Clark’s family, friends and co-workers and with everyone impacted by this tragic loss,” the company said in a statement.

“The company is focused on supporting the family of the employee and workers at Curragh and counselling services are being made available.”

‘How do we fix it?’

It is the second death at the mine in less than two years. Goondiwindi man Donald Rabbit was killed on January 12, 2020 when he was trapped under heavy machinery.

That case is still the subject of legal proceedings.

Mr Smyth said it followed several deaths across the industry in recent years.

“We’ve had an increase in the number of fatalities, particularly in the surface mines, over the past five years,” he said.

“It’s going to take more than one safety re-set [or] a toolbox talk to fix this.”

Queensland Resources Minister Scott Stewart also expressed his condolences and said any death on a Queensland mine site was unacceptable.

The Minerals Council of Australia also issued a statement to reiterate that workforce safety was the industry’s highest priority.

“The Australian minerals industry’s highest value and priority is the safety and health of its workforce, where everyone who goes to work returns home safe and healthy,” it said.

“The minerals industry is working hard to eliminate fatalities, injuries, and occupational illnesses.”

Coronado Global Resources said further updates on mine operations would be provided in due course.

Posted , updated 

Tributes flow for ‘highly respected’ Queenslander Clark Peadon, killed in mine incident
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