Mining community to honour fallen colleagues online

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

Queensland’s annual memorial for fallen mine workers will be livestreamed online for the general public for the first time in 2020.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said while this years’ service would not follow the traditional format, broadcasting online meant more people can participate in remembering the 1500 mine workers who have died in Queensland’s mines.

“The Mines Memorial Day provides a time for reflection and a sobering reminder of why safety must come first,” Dr Lynham said.

“Together with stakeholders, I look forward to the opportunity to honour those who have died and acknowledge their contribution to Queensland.

“Although the pandemic has required changes to the way the service is held, it will not stop us from honouring these miners as a community.”

Now in its 13th year, the Miners Memorial Day service is held annually on September 19 to coincide with the anniversary of the state’s worst mining disaster at Mount Mulligan in Far North Queensland, where 75 miners were killed in 1921.

Following the Mount Mulligan disaster, coal mining-specific legislation was enacted for the first time.

Dr Lynham said mine health and safety has improved significantly since the Mount Mulligan disaster.

“Any death in our resources workplaces is unacceptable, and this government is committed to working with employers, unions and peak bodies to continue to improve protections for our resource workers,” Dr Lynham said.

“Queensland now has the toughest mine safety and health laws in the world – including an offence of industrial manslaughter.

“I will reflect on the improvements that together we have made in safety and health, while calling for everyone to renew their commitment to a zero serious harm industry with a safety culture at its core.

“Miners Memorial Day reminds us that as we look to the future, we must learn from the past.”

The 2020 Mines Memorial Day will be held at the State Miners Memorial at Redbank on Saturday, 19 September at 10:30am.

A closed-set, professionally staged production of the service will be live-streamed to the public as a Resources Safety & Health Queensland Facebook event.

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