More than 1500 workers who have lost their lives in Queensland mines have been remembered today.
The annual Miners Memorial Day service, which is held in a Queensland mining community every year on September 19, is held on the anniversary of Queensland’s worst mining disaster.
The Mt Mulligan mine disaster claimed the lives of 75 workers after an explosion in 1921.
The memorial day is also held just one day before 13 workers were killed in an explosion at Kianga mine – 54 years after the Mt Mulligan disaster almost to the day.
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said Miners Memorial Day provided an opportunity for everyone associated with mining to reflect and recommit to improving mine safety.
“As we reflect on this day, it also allows us an opportunity to pause, and recommit to ensuring workers return safely to their families at the end of every shift,” he said.
“It is also an appropriate occasion to reflect on what can happen if we do not remain vigilant about protecting the safety and health of our mine workers.”
Dr Lynham said it was vital that the safety and health framework kept pace with change in a dynamic industry.
“The recent tragedy at the Newlands coal mine and the re-emergence of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in 2015-16 is a reminder to us all that we must always be vigilant when it comes to mining health and safety and safety and health is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.
“Addressing this insidious disease is a priority of mine, and we have taken decisive and comprehensive action to ensure there’s no place for black lung in our industry.”
Miners Memorial Day highlights the most important aspect of mining – the safety and health of the men and women who work in our mines and emphasises the economic and social importance of the mining sector to delivering prosperity to Queensland.