12:34 pm, Saturday 29 September, 2012
National Workers Memorial
Photo: The Sydney Morning Herald
Construction of the National Workers Memorial has commenced in Canberra. The memorial funded by the federal government will pay tribute to all Australian workers who lost their lives to work-related accidents and diseases.
The design for the memorial features a series of tall columns which represent the contributions of workers from each Australian state and territory.
Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten was present during the construction’s ground breaking ceremony last week.
“It is true that up to 300 Australians every year get killed at work. This number is a secret number to most Australians, I believe,” said Mr Shorten.
“I don’t believe Australians by and large appreciate what tragedy can occur in the blink of an eye in Australia’s workplaces.
“When you use a number like 300, it doesn’t even begin to encapsulate the impact and suffering, and in some ways – in many ways – this memorial to workers, should probably also be a memorial to their mothers.
“When you think about workplace fatality – and I rarely use the word ‘accident’ – I believe nearly everything is preventable, and I do believe that this memorial will also be a memory, that with a little more effort and a little more thought, we can actually change what will happen in the future.”
The new memorial is situated on the northern shore of Lake Burley Griffin and is due to be completed by March 2013.