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Black lung detection in Queensland 'deliberately underfunded, under-resourced'

The ABC's Chris O'Brien reports (22.3.17) on findings from the parliamentary inquiry into the re-emergence of black lung disease among Queensland coal miners.

'Detection of black lung disease among coal miners Queensland has been deliberately underfunded with calamitous results, according to a scathing report by a parliament committee.

'Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis (CWP) committee chair Jo-Ann Miller tabled interim findings from her six-month inquiry into the re-emergence of black lung, slamming the Mines Department, Queensland Health, medical professionals, mine operators and Workcover Queensland.

'The committee found evidence so far suggested "a massive systemic failure across the entirety of the regulatory and health systems intended to protect coal industry workers".

'... The interim report found 19 confirmed current cases of CWP with a 20th case pending confirmation.

'It was particularly concerning, the committee said, that the coal mining industry, the Mines Department and Queensland Health wrongly assumed black lung did not exist after the 1980s.'


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