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BMA Coal And Tim Fuller (Saraji Mine Management) Mentioned In Mackay Magistrates Court 23 March 2021. In Relation To Charges From The Alan Houston Fatality

BMA Coal and Tim Fuller (Saraji Mine Management) mentioned in Mackay Magistrates Court 23 March 2021. In relation to charges from the Alan Houston Fatality

There is not only Middlemount Coal and Management up for mention in the Mackay Magistrates Court today.

BMA Coal and Tim Fuller (Saraji Management Senior Production Manager) are also listed for the 23rd of March 2021.

This case had been adjourned for 3 months as per the Routledge case.

Please read my comments in relation to the Reply given by Chief Inspector Peter Newman to my official complaint, located about 1/3 way through this post.

“Asset requirement mandate to keep trucks running to meet production target”

THE case against BMA Coal Operations and one of its executives over the death of a dozer operator, who drowned in a pool of mud at Saraji mine, has been adjourned for more than three months.

Gracemere father Allan Houston died almost two years ago on December 31, 2018 when his dozer rolled 18 metres off an embankment.

The vehicle came to rest upside down in a pool of mud and water. The 49 year old was found in the cabin with his seatbelt fastened and tragically did not survive.

Barely 12 months after the incident, the Mines Inspectorate charged the mine giant and manager of production overburden Timothy Neil Fuller with failing to discharge health and safety obligations causing death.

It is alleged no control measures were in place to minimise the serious risks and as a result Mr Houston died.

Matters against BMA were briefly mentioned in Mackay Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The court heard a letter had been sent on behalf of the company requesting an adjournment.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer listed the case for the same day as Mr Fuller. Matters will next be mentioned on March 23.

Excerpts From The Reply  Sent on 12th August 2020.  Attached is a Full Copy of the Reply

PDM Complaint reply

Chief Inspector of Coal Mines Qld

Re Complaint Investigation Report – Peak Downs dated 30th April 2020

Dear Peter;

This is the first formal follow up as promised on the matter of my Peak Downs Complaint.

This correspondence will deal with your comments regarding the “Asset”

During your evidence at the Ministerial Board of you answered under oath that you did not obtain any legal advice before making Interpretations of the Coal Mining Act and Regulations and then putting it into effect on at least one occasion.

  • Did you as Chief Inspector get any legal advice prior to your formal reply to me on the 30th of April?


In short, I find it impossible to understand how anyone who professes to understand the Mining Act could ever come up with such a response.

It is against all the findings of the Moura Inquiry and its recommendations and the wording, intent and drafting Instructions etc of the Coal Mining Act.

In fact, the positions of SSE in particular and Operator were specifically framed to avoid the position of Asset that you endorse.

You are explicitly allowing the situation where the SSE answers to somebody else on site.

The Mines Department Investigation findings for the Daniel Springer fatality at Goonyella Riverside actually finds this.

Mines Department took no action to address this basic and disgusting fundamental and blatant non compliance that directly resulted in Mr Springer losing his life

This is the most relevant part of the Chief Inspectors Reply.

The full reply is attached

File Note and Summary of feedback to Mr Vaccaneo concerning his Complaint regarding PDM Peter Newman 300420 (1)

Key Concern 4 – It is claimed that BMA has certain mandates such as  “There is mandate to keep trucks running to meet production targets”, and “There is an asset requirement to have this mandate”, which is believed to be a formal admission that “Production before Safety” mandate exists.


    This is the assertion of the complainant not a formal admission of Production before Safety as they assert. It may reflect the business requirements but is not exclusive of the Health and Safety of Coal Mine Workers.

Key Concern 5- BMA/BHP has created some sort of Entity outside the Coal Mining Act that by its own admission is issuing Directions to the Peak Downs Mine and therefore the SSE about how the Site Safety and Health Obligations are to be discharged. Such Directions unless issued by a least the Coal Mine Operator are in direct contravention of the Coal Mining Act. Further, there is no mention anywhere of the Asset being the Coal Mine Operator.


  • BMA have an appointed Operator under the Coal Mining Act, an appointed SSE as required under the Act and a Management Structure with persons in that structure being appointed to those roles, all having responsibility and accountability to ensure the provisions of the Coal Mining Act and Regulations are implemented for their operations. Only these persons are able to give directions at the site under the requirements of the Coal Mining Act and Regulations.
  • A business owner or representative, not having an appointed role under the legislation, is not precluded from making other operational and business decisions that may impact the mine, where those decisions do not impact the Health and Safety of CMW’s, and/or contravene the obligations of the Coal Mine Operator, SSE or other statutory officials from discharging their duties under the Coal Mining Act and Regulations.
  • The Coal Mine Operator is an appointed role under the Coal Mining Act. This does not preclude an organisation referring to Assets within their organisation or as some businesses have appointing personnel to roles within their business organisation, having accountability for the business performance of certain Assets. Such terms include Asset President, VP Coal Assets etc.
  • As discussed with you in November in 2019 and later in January 2020, many organisations refer to their Mine, CHPP, or other production entity as an Asset. It is not uncommon to use this reference in an organisational sense. It is not mentioned in this sense in the Coal Mining Act or Regulation, however, this does not preclude its reference by an organisation. It is those appointed under the Coal Mining Act and Regulations, as previously described, that carry the responsibility and accountability, to give Directions as they relate to Health and Safety matters.
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