Discusses development of underground coal mining in Australia in the last four decades. The following aspects are reviewed: technology for underground mining (longwall mining, unidirectional cutting, bidirectional cutting, operation of more than one shearer on a working face, optimum dimensions of longwall blocks), longwall productivity (productivity increase will depend on increasing the availability factor of equipment, reducing failures due to human errors, organizational models, improving on-site decision making, improving monitoring, maintenance, planning and scheduling, concept of 'Transparent Mine'), roadway development systems (types of heading machines, standard systems for mine drivage and roof bolting and their productivity), size of coal mines, man and material transport systems (20,000-30,000 t/d from a single longwall face, mine shafts with a diameter 9-10 m), mine layout design (layout of longwall blocks, main intakes and returns situated in rock layers), mine environmental systems (ventilation systems, gas control), management, training and interpersonal relationships. Future coal mines will be developed with an integral capacity of 8-10 Mt/a from a single longwall operation with main development arteries placed in rocks. Development of gate roadways will require novel solutions with continuous cutting, loading and bolting. Information technology, with the concept of 'transparent mine', will form the backbone of decision making.