AUSTRALIA'S peak lung health expert body is calling for a more comprehensive national response to the re-emergence of black lung disease.
The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand said a national body must be formed to monitor the disease's spread.
The potentially fatal disease is caused by breathing in excessive levels of coal dust.
But a resurgence of the deadly coal workers' pneumoconiosis has caught governments and medical authorities by surprise.
It was thought black lung disease had been eradicated from Australian coal fields 60 years ago, but there are now six confirmed cases in Queensland.