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Mine Safety Advisory Council background

The NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council (MSAC) was established in 1998 following recommendations made in the Mine Safety Review and Gretley Inquiry.

MSAC provides the NSW Minister for Resources and Energy with advice on critical work, health and safety (WHS) issues of importance to the NSW government. The Minister refers these matters to MSAC for consideration and requests advice on appropriate ways to foster improved WHS performance in the mining and extractives industry.

MSAC's terms of reference were strengthened in 2006 to increase the emphasis on safety and health within the mining industry by reviewing and analysing safety performance, setting strategic directions, providing advice and developing policy recommendations.

At that time the Minister strengthened the role and capacity of MSAC by:

  • the appointment of an independent chairman and two independent experts in WHS
  • setting up a secretariat within the structure of the NSW Resources Regulator.
  • making resources available, when appropriate through the department, on MSAC’s recommendation to explore issues and commission research..

MSAC includes an independant chairman and senior officials from some of the most respected bodies in the mining industry including the CFMEU (Mining and Energy Division), Australian Workers Union, NSW Minerals Council, Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia and the Resources Regulator. Two independent experts in work health and safety have also been members of MSAC since the 2006 review recommendations were acted on by the government.

Actions for world-leading WHS to 2020

The council's current strategic document, Strategic Plan to 2020: Working towards world-leading work health and safety in the nsw resources industry explains the strategic direction and actions priorities for MSAC until 2020. It builds the actions to 2017 developed in 2012.

MSAC will play an important role in observing and facilitating the strategic actions areas for continuous improvement of the industry's work health and safety performance. The council has identified six strategic action areas to work towards its goal of world-leading work health and safety. The strategic action areas are:

  • evidence based regulatory approach
  • participate, engage and communicate with industry and community
  • focus on health and wellbeing
  • identify risks of fatal incidents and disease
  • address emerging trends
  • human and organisational factors

The government may look to the council for advice and strategic direction on a range of issues including:

The NSW government’s vision is for MSAC to operate in an environment of trust and co-operation to address these issues and that all stakeholders demonstrate a willingness to support the work of the council and move forward on mutual matters of importance as one group.

MSAC meets on average four times per year (with working groups and specific committees meeting between those times) and holds at least one meeting per year in a regional mining area.

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