Hundreds of people are expected to gather in Charters Towers in North Queensland tomorrow (EDS: Wednesday) to honour the memories of the almost 1500 workers who have died in the state’s mines.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the annual event, which he is attending, was an important reminder of the workers lost in the pursuit of prosperity and growth since industry records began in 1877.
“Queensland has a rich mining history, extending back 40,000 years to when Indigenous Queenslanders mined for ochre and stone,” Dr Lynham said.
“People of European descent began mining more than 200 years ago.
“Thankfully, in the 21st century mine safety has improved, but every day men and women still have boots on the ground in mines.
“And this risk cannot be understated.
“Every year, the mining industry, unions, family and friends come together to honour the memories of those lost.
“It’s just as important is to look to the future and learn from past mistakes to ensure tragedies of the past do not occur again.”
“I thank the thousands of people working in Queensland mines and reiterate the point: safety is paramount for the state government, for the industry and for you.”
The annual Miners Memorial Day service has been held on 19 September since 2008. It coincides with the anniversary of the state’s worst mining disaster at Mount Mulligan in Far North Queensland, where 75 miners were killed in 1921.
Dr Lynham will attend the memorial service at 10.30am in Charters Towers’ Arthur Titley Centre. The Miners Memorial Day service is a free community event and open to anyone who would like to attend.
The service rotates between the Redbank Miners Memorial Monument at Ipswich and a regional location. Next year it will be held in Moura, as it is the 25th anniversary of the Moura no. 2 disaster, when 11 people were lost after an underground explosion.