This month the Components Only and @ The Coalface $500 Community Gift goes to the Queensland Resources Dust Disease Support Group (QRDDSG) who are dedicated to protecting the health and wellbeing of retired and former miners, quarry workers, and their families across Queensland. Their tireless efforts and numerous accomplishments have resulted in vital services for those affected by dust-related diseases.
The journey of the QRDDSG commenced in 2018, as a group of retired miners and the Mining and Energy Union (MEU) united to advocate for the recognition of black lung disease in Queensland. Their collective efforts led to a federal senate inquiry, which ultimately resulted in the release of the Black Lung White Lies report by the Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Select Committee. This ground-breaking report shed light on the severity of the issue and underscored the urgent need for action.
The QRDDSG’s dedication did not stop there. The group engaged in meetings with local government representatives and the Queensland Premier, amplifying their voice and advocating for change on behalf of the afflicted community.
A significant milestone was achieved in February 2020, with the establishment of the Mine Dust Health Support Service. This invaluable service acts as a one stop shop for former Queensland mine and quarry workers, offering lung disease testing, treatment and compensation assistance. Additionally, it provides free psychological support services for workers and their families. Eligibility extends to retired coal mine, mineral mine or quarry workers with a minimum of three years of experience in Queensland, without any age limit.
One of the most remarkable achievements of the QRDDSG was the acquisition of a world-class solar-powered mobile health unit.
Launched in Collinsville in February 2022, this mobile unit has been instrumental in reaching out to retired miners for testing. An astounding 92% of individuals indicated that they would not have taken the test without the unit’s presence. This portable medical facility has become a beacon of hope for early detection and timely intervention.
Presently, the QRDDSG is actively involved in several key initiatives. Firstly, they are advocating for the employment of Support Workers to engage with diagnosed lung disease victims and their families, ensuring they receive the necessary support.
Secondly, the group is lobbying for the inclusion of rail, power, and port coal workers in the testing program, expanding their reach and impact. Moreover, they are seeking funding for advertising campaigns to locate and encourage more former mine workers to undergo screening. They also aim to expand their support groups to regions like Mackay, Rockhampton and Ipswich to enhance community outreach.
The statistics provided by the Heart of Australia mobile health unit underscore the urgency of the QRDDSG’s endeavours. Among the former coal mine workers tested, a significant number were referred for further assessments, and many were diagnosed with respiratory diseases, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). These findings highlight the need to locate and test up to 25,000 retired and former mine and quarry workers to ensure early detection and timely intervention.
QRDDSG extends a heartfelt thank you to the thousands of people and organisations whose unwavering dedication and financial support fuels the drive for a healthy workplace and retirement for all resource industry workers – be they former, current, or the cornerstone of our future workforce.
|For more information the service can be contacted on 1300 445 715 or email email@example.com|