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Black lung cases likely to rise in Queensland, new report blames regulatory system

A new report into black lung disease has blamed systemicfailures for the re-emergence of the disease in Australia, The Australian Financial Review reported July 13.

The disease, which is caused by long exposure to coal dust, has11 confirmed cases in Queensland since workers were first with it in late 2015.

Miners in Queensland went on in December last year followingrevelations that four coal miners were diagnosed as having black lung disease,which was thought to have been eradicated in Australia by the early 1980s.

The Monash University report also found a further 18probable cases of black lung, from a batch of 250 tests, and Natural Resourcesand Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has asked 5,500 underground coal miners inQueensland to get tested for the disease.

According to the publication, the total number of casescould be in hundreds in Queensland and New South Wales, which could make theQueensland government and resource companies liable for millions of dollars incompensation.