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Mine Safety Advisory Council

The NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council aims to increase the emphasis on safety and health within the NSW mining and extractives industry

About the council

The NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council (MSAC) was established in 1998 following recommendations made in the Mine Safety Review and Gretley Inquiry to provide the Minister with advice on WHS issues of critical importance to the NSW Government. The council was strengthened in 2006 and has aimed to increase the emphasis on safety and health within the NSW mining and extractives industry by reviewing and analysing safety performance, setting strategic directions, providing advice, and developing policy recommendations.

The Minister refers matters to the council for its consideration and advice on ways to foster improved health and safety performance in the industry. These matters have included:

MSAC members are representatives of mining industry stakeholder groups. See the current membership below.

You can contact the council by emailing the secretariat.

Operation and strategy

MSAC has a constitution (PDF, 348.31 KB) that guides its operation and includes its terms of reference. The council operates in an environment of trust and cooperation to address these issues and meets at least four times a year. Copies of all meeting minutes of the council are published on the website. Meeting agendas are published prior to each meeting.

The council's current strategy document, Strategic Plan to 2026 (PDF, 119.32 KB) explains the strategic direction and action priorities for MSAC until 2026.

MSAC has identified the following priority focus areas to work towards its goal of world-leading work health and safety. The priority focus areas are:

  • Focus on health
    • overseeing implementation of recommendations from the independent review of the NSW health surveillance scheme for coal mine workers
    • workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants
    • psychosocial hazards
  • Focus on fatal incidents, serious injuries and illness
    • identification of emerging trends indicating areas for improvement in current risk control
  • Focus on emerging trends
    • vehicle interactions and collision awareness
    • reporting culture survey
    • remote-controlled mining operations
    • isolation of energy
    • fatigue
    • sedentary work
    • use of progressive technology in safety control systems

Annual reports

Coal Worker Health Surveillance Scheme Review Report

The NSW Government selected the University of Illinois (Chicago) through an open tender process by the NSW Government to independently conduct a review of the health surveillance scheme for NSW coal workers.

The review, recommended and overseen by the NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council (MSAC), examined the current approach to the health and safety of workers in the coal industry, including the detection of occupational dust lung disease.

This report outlines 16 recommendations and identifies areas for continued improvement to ensure robust health surveillance. MSAC unanimously accepted the recommendations.

The implementation of the report recommendations is in progress. In 2023 CS Health completed key pieces of work as summarised in the 2023 MSAC Review progress summary. Progress in the first quarter of 2024 is detailed in the February 2024 progress summary.

An implementation working group has been established to further consult with industry stakeholders on changes to clinical guidelines regarding recommendations 2 and 14.

Chairperson and members

Mine Safety Advisory Council (MSAC) members are representatives of some of the most respected bodies in the mining industry, including the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (Mining and Energy Division), Australian Workers’ Union, NSW Minerals Council and Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Australia. Two independent experts in work health and safety and a representative of the NSW Department of Regional NSW have also been appointed to the MSAC.

Name Nominee of (organisation)
Hon. George Souris Chair
Ian Cribb NSW Minerals Council (coal)
Kylie Harris NSW Minerals Council (metalliferous)
Graeme Osborne Mining and Energy Union (MEU)
Robin Williams Mining and Energy Union (MEU)
Ron Cowdrey Australian Workers’ Union
James Collings Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia
Peter Day NSW Resources Regulator, Department of Regional NSW
Julie Armour Independent expert
Prof. Deborah Yates Independent expert

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