State defies own human rights law by targeting mine workers

Govt ignores human rights in mine scandal

  • Govt defies its own human rights legislation on Glenden
  • Govt defies its own Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act
  • Govt refuses to answer key questions on secret mine law

The State Government has defied its own human rights and sustainable communities’ legislation through its secret new law targeting the Byerwen mine’s 800 workers.

Energy Resources Queensland (ERQ) spokesperson Paul Turner said the State Government’s attack with targeted legislation which has threatened the jobs of regional Queensland miners and the future of the town of Glenden defied its own legislation.

The State Government’s Human Rights Queensland 2019 Act, in section 19, states:

“Every person lawfully within Queensland has the right to move freely within Queensland and to enter and leave it and has the freedom to choose where to live.”

“Byerwen mine workers have been denied this basic right. If they want to work at the Byerwen mine, they must live in Glenden. It defies the State Government’s own human rights legislation,” Mr Turner said.

The State Government’s own Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act was also ignored when it targeted one mine and its 800 workers to “save Glenden”.

The Act, introduced by this Labor Government in 2017, states:

“The Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017 ensures that residents of communities near large resource projects benefit from the construction and operation of those projects. A nearby regional community is one that is within 125-kilometre radius of a large resource project and has a population of more than 200 residents.”

“Is the State Government admitting that there are fewer than 200 genuine residents in Glenden? If not then, had the State Government complied with its own law, all nearby mines would have contributed to saving Glenden,” Mr Turner said.

ERQ has called on the State Labor Government to answer two questions:

  1. Why was Byerwen mine singled out with retrospective legislation, and not the nearby Hail Creek mine as well?
  2. Why was this legislation introduced with no notice, no consultation, no parliamentary committee review and pushed through Parliament in 24 hours after 30 minutes debate?

The State Government has been caught in three lies:

  1. Byerwen mine and QCoal had never seen this legislation before it was introduced and in no way, ever, asked for legislation forcing the closure of the workers’ camp.
  2. The original EIS never called for 100% of Byerwen workers to live in Glenden.
  3. Hail Creek camp was approved on April 20, 2022, by the current Minister and his Department, not 20 years ago by the Nebo Council.

For more information contact QCoal Head of Communications Paul Turner on or 0408850270.