Sep 11, 2019

State pauses to pay tribute to miners killed at work

State pauses to pay tribute to miners killed at work

More than 450 people are expected to join a Miners Memorial Day Service in Moura next week.

The service is held annually on September 19 – the date of Queensland’s worst mining disaster where, in 1921, 75 miners lost their lives in a coal mine at Mount Mulligan.

The Moura region in Central Queensland also has an especially dark history for mining tragedies and has seen 36 mine workers lose their lives in a range of incidents.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Moura No. 2 mine disaster on August 7, 1994, when 11 men died. It is the 44th anniversary of the Kianga No.1 tragedy on September 20, 1975, when 13 workers died.

Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Anthony Lynham described Miners Memorial Day as a special day to remember those who had died in creating prosperity for Queensland, and to mourn with those they left behind.

This year’s service comes after the ‘completely unacceptable’ loss of six lives at Queensland mines and quarries since July last year.

Dr Lynham said companies, unions and peak industry bodies had since re-committed to putting safety first, and working with government on reforms to strengthen safety culture in the resources sector. 

“To date, nearly all workers in Queensland mines and quarries have participated with their employers in safety reset sessions in their workplaces,” he said.

“Work now continues on two independent reviews on deaths over the past 20 years and the effectiveness of our mining health and safety legislation.

“I hope every mine worker, every mine employer, and their family and friends take away from this day the message that the most important thing to come off site after every shift is a mine worker.”

A mines department spokeswoman said it was expected that there would be Moura No. 2 survivors in attendance at this year’s service, among other survivors.

“While they are not part of the formal proceedings, the Queensland Government hopes that the outpouring of support shown at the service helps reaffirm that – no matter how many years have passed – all of Queensland and industry is behind them,” she said.

Speakers scheduled for the event include Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane, CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland district president Stephen Smyth, Australian Workers’ Union representative Peter Osbourne, and Glencore mining manager Ron McKenna.

The service will commence at 10:30 am at Kianga Memorial Hall, corner of McArthur and Young streets Moura. Details HERE

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