A monument dedicated to the memory of Queensland mine workers who lost their lives in fatal mines and quarry incidents and disasters has been unveiled.
The monument was unveiled at Redbank, Ipswich, during Queensland’s annual Miners Memorial Day Service on Tuesday.
“Today we came together as a community to formally pause and honor the memory of those who have lost their lives working at Queensland mines,” Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr. Anthony Lynham said.
“With a long and proud mining industry, our mining communities understand first-hand what it means to lose a friend and colleague tragically and the impact of these losses on family and friends.
Every year on 19 September a service is held to mark the anniversary of the state’s worst mining disaster at Mount Mulligan, at which 75 miners lost their lives.
“It is very fitting that the permanent State Miners Memorial Monument is located here in Redbank, Ipswich given its historical significance for coal mining in Queensland,” he said.
“As the eucalyptus saplings and revegetation plantings grow and the park matures, the State Miners Memorial Monument will be a special place for many people wanting to pay their respects or remember a family member, friend or colleague.
“This monument has been designed as a public space where the community can visit to reflect on the sacrifices made by mine workers over many decades to power our great state.
“While the safety record of Queensland mines has improved exponentially since the 1880s, unfortunately, fatalities are not a thing of the past and today we pause to reflect on the lessons learnt from each and every fatal incident and disaster.
“Every worker has the right to go to work expecting to go home safely to their family at the end of their shift and for this reason, we are continuously working to improve safety and health in Queensland mines.
“Mining is a tough industry, affected not only by these disasters but also by diseases such as Black Lung, the tackling of which the Palaszczuk Government already has delivered significant reforms.
“I’d like to thank everyone who’s been involved in this project for the work and passion that’s made this state memorial come together since the idea was first conceived, and for preparing this site for the construction so it can become a real focal point for the memorial service today.
“I would like to acknowledge the contributions of all the partners and volunteers who have given their support to this project to make this a reality.
“In particular I would like to thank the family representatives, Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller, for whom this has been a very personal project, the traditional owners for their input and advocacy over many years to reach this important milestone for miners killed at work,” Dr. Lynham said.
For more information about Miners Memorial Day visit www.dnrm.qld.gov.au.