“Mineworkers cannot rely solely upon Governments and employers in isolation to come up with the solutions and come up with the protections required so mining industry workers can go home safely at the completion of each shift.” These were the words of the CFMMEU’s, Glenn Power at the Queensland Miner’s Memorial Service on Saturday as he honoured fallen mineworkers.
Mr Power’s touching speech on the Anniversary of the Mount Mulligan Mine disaster drew attention to the plight of victims of past disasters saying that “September is away sombre, always challenging especially for those of us who have lost friends colleagues relatives and loved ones.”
Holding back tears in his heartfelt speech Mr Power said that “we must never forget these sad anniversaries that have shaped our communities like Collinsville 1954 – 7 miners killed, Box Flat 1972 – 18 miners killed, Kianga 1975 – 13 miners killed, Moura No.4 1986 – 12 miners killed, Moura No. 2 1994 – 11 miners killed.
He said the “last couple of years that mining tragedies are not consigned to history. Fatalities and serious injuries continue to rock our communities.”
Paying tribute to the five miners who were seriously injured in the Grosvenor Mine explosion Mr Power acknowledged the long journey to recovery that the miners face.
“Tragedies from the past and present remind us of the price paid by coal miners and mining communities for the prosperity of the industry that is relied up by the nation.”
“Beyond the fatalities and serious accidents that make the headlines, there are thousands of more mineworkers who are seriously injured at work, injured or killed on the roads or developed illnesses and health problems like Black Lung for working in the mining industry.”
“Zero Harm and Zero fatalities are only an aspirational figure of speech that gives no practical tangible outcome.”Glenn Power CFMMEU
“We must never forget the price that coal mine workers have paid and the burden of death and injuries that their families continue to this day,” he said.
Memory of fallen mineworkers should give others the courage to ‘speak out’ for safety
Mr Power said that mining industry workers should have the confidence to stand up and speak out without any fear of reprisals.
He said that the CFMMEU will continue to advocate in the strongest possible terms for the safety reforms required so that every mineworker can go home safely at the end of the day, enjoy their families an finish their working lives in good health.
“It is time for a serious robust tripartite contribution worker safety” he said.
It is time for a serious robust tripartite contribution from governments employers and unions need to come together collectively for practical solutions where safety is first and foremost without any fear of reprisal.
Mr Power acknowledged that the union will always honour the memory of ( fallen mineworkers ) and in doing so will redouble (the union’s efforts) to keep this industry as safe as possible for all who work in it.
You can watch the full miners’ memorial service here
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