Miners with black lung could get pay-outs
MINERS diagnosed with black lung could receive $120,000 in lump-sum payments, as part of proposed legislation being examined by a parliamentary committee.
Anyone diagnosed with coal workers' pneumoconiosis could be eligible for payments ranging between about $18,000 and $120,000, depending on the severity of the disease.
Office of Industrial Relations assistant senior director Janene Hillhouse said the payment scheme was determined by examining payments for permanent impairment and terminal illnesses.
"Only a worker with the most significant form of pneumoconiosis - progressive massive fibrosis - would potentially receive that sum (of $120,000)," she said in the committee hearing yesterday.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said having scaled payments was the fairest method.
"The graduated scale was formulated on the basis that the disease gets worse exponentially rather than in a linear fashion so there is higher compensation towards the higher grades of the scale," she said in a statement.
"The scaling of the payments is consistent with the approach taken for latent onset terminal payments under the workers' compensation scheme, and it has the support of stakeholders."
The costs of testing workers was estimated at $2500 each.
Miners will also win the right to reopen work cover cases if their condition has deteriorated, if the bill is passed.
The proposed legislation is being examined by the Queensland parliament's Finance and Administration committee.