Mackay man David Routledge died when a wall collapsed while he was operating a digger at the Middlemount open-cut coal mine. Picture Facebook
Mackay man David Routledge died when a wall collapsed while he was operating a digger at the Middlemount open-cut coal mine. Picture Facebook

Middlemount mine death case first mention in court

THE case against a CQ mine operator and three of its most senior staff over the tragic death of South Mackay grandfather David Routledge has been granted a lengthy adjournment.

The 55 year old had been operating a digger at Middlemount mine when, just after noon on June 26 last year, part of the high wall collapsed and engulfed the machine.

The cabin, where Mr Routledge had been, was crushed and as a result he was killed.

REST IN PEACE: Middlemount mine worker, David Routledge is laid to rest in front of hundreds of loving friends and family.
REST IN PEACE: Middlemount mine worker, David Routledge is laid to rest in front of hundreds of loving friends and family.

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Following a 12-month investigation, the Mines Inspectorate laid charges against site senior executive Darren Lee Cuthbertson, mine manager Darrin Brian Milner and open-cut examiner Neville John Whiteley.

Operator Middlemount Coal Pty Ltd has also been charged over the fatal incident with all matters listed for first mention in Mackay Magistrates Court today.

However, no one appeared for the case and it is understood the four-month adjournment had already been agreed to before matters were mentioned in court.

David Routledge died operating a digger at Middlemount Mine following a high wall collapse in June 2019.
David Routledge died operating a digger at Middlemount Mine following a high wall collapse in June 2019.

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Middlemount Coal, Mr Cuthbertson, Mr Milner and Mr Whiteley are each facing one count of failing to discharge health and safety obligations - caused death or grievous bodily harm, which falls under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act.

Matters will be mentioned again on December 15.


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