OUR SAY: It's a Black day, and they need to know it
THE re-emergence of black lung in Queensland and New South Wales is an issue for all current and future politicians.
If we don't get it right, more people could die.
Last week, it was announced that mining ministers around the country will next month consider the State Government's proposal for a Medicare-funded national screening system for coal worker's pneumoconiosis, or black lung.
The monitoring of coal dust is also an issue that needs to be addressed on a national level.
If it is left to the mining companies to monitor and self regulate dust levels the doors will most likely be left open to scrutiny.
The seven current and former miners confirmed as having black lung have worked in underground coal mines across Queensland and New South Wales.
So how is Queensland and New South Wales going to address the issue?
Over the past few weeks we have been subjected to politicians laying blame and claiming that they can fix the issue, but enough is enough.
This is not an issue for grandstanding politicians to make outrageous claims or promises.
This is an issue that needs to be taken seriously as people are dying right now due to the lack of regulatory requirements and the lack of monitoring in the past.
Today we ask our election hopefuls if they support a national coal dust exposure level, as recommended in a recent Senate inquiry, and are there any other measures they would like to see brought in? The following are their answers.