A memorial in Collinsville has capped off a month of state wide official commemorations held to pay tribute to more than 1450 miners who have died in Queensland since mining began.
Around 300 gathered at the service, with representatives including Queensland mine safety commissioner Stewart Bell, QLD CFMEU mining and energy president Stephen Smyth, vice president Shane Brunker, and Whitsunday regional mayor Mike Brunker.
"Safety can never be compromised in the pursuit of profit. We can see the tragic consequences of that approach remembered here today and we saw the tragic consequences of that approach in New Zealand’s Pike River disaster,” Smyth stated.
Mike Brunker, a former miner himself, said Queenslanders should not forget the massive number of deaths in the industry, which serve as a warning for the Government, companies, and new workers, that mining is still dangerous.
“The tragedies of the past should always inform the safety practices and policies of the future,” Brunker said.
The annual memorial services come as the industry is forecast to double in the next 15 years, with an additional 30 000 new miners tipped to enter the sector.
Image: Collinsville Workers Club