Members of Queensland’s resources community will remember the lives of almost 1500 workers who have died in mining operations at the Miners Memorial Day in Charters Towers today.
Since 2008, the State Government, resources industry and other respected guests have annually come together to honour the memory of miners who have lost their lives in Queensland’s coal and metalliferous mines since mining began in the 19th century. The event is held on 19 September to mark the anniversary of the tragic loss of 75 miners at a Queensland coal mine in Mount Mulligan, nearly 100 years ago.
Charters Towers Regional Council’s Mayor, Cr Liz Schmidt felt honoured that Charters Towers had been chosen for this year’s memorial service.
“Given our mining history and the significance of mining in our region, it’s very fitting for Charters Towers to host the Miners Memorial Day service this year,” she said.
“We are very honoured to be able to participate and to pay our respects to the men and women who have passed through mining tragedies. Members of our community have felt the pain and sorrow of losing someone through mining accidents.”
Charters Towers was founded when gold was discovered in 1871 by a young boy, Jupiter Mosman, who was part of a prospecting party. Unfortunately, Charters Towers suffered the first gold mining accident in the State after a fire broke out which led to carbon monoxide poisoning of seven miners and one rescuer in 1904. It is the largest loss of life in a mining accident in the area.
“We are grateful to the men and women who take this risk every day, working in Queensland mines. The mining industry makes a significant contribution to our local economy, to Queensland and Australia,” Ms Schmidt commented.
Miners Memorial Day also shines a light on the most important aspect of mining—the safety and health of the men and women who work in Queensland mines.
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, an attendee of the event, said it is the sector’s top priority to make sure each and every one of the men and women working in resources goes home safely.
“The safety of the men and women working in the resources sector is of fundamental importance and our members have an unwavering commitment to ensure all workers return home to their families at the end of every day or every shift,” he said.
“In the intervening decades, our industry has been steadily enhanced by technology improvements that eliminate the gravest of safety risks. Just like another of the great primary industries – agriculture – the fundamental nature of our sector means we must be vigilant about safety risks and constantly work to continue our focus on safety,” Mr Macfarlane commented.
“By making sure safety remains the most important objective not only in every crib room, but also in every boardroom, we will ensure our extended mining family stays safe every day while we continue to build an even greater Queensland,” he said.
More information on the annual Miners Memorial Day can be found here.