Scheduled for September 19, on the anniversary of Queensland’s worst mining disaster where 75 people lost their lives in a coal dust explosion at Mount Mulligan in 1921, Miners' Memorial Day will commemorate all miners who died in mining accidents since the industry began in the state in the 19th century.
On July 16, 1986, 12 miners lost their lives in an explosion at the Moura No. 4 mine; and in 1994, 11 miners died in an underground explosion at Moura’s No. 2 mine.
In 1975, 13 miners were killed in an underground explosion at the Kianga No. 1 coal mine.
Representatives from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Australian Workers’ Union and the Queensland Resources Council, together with the Queensland Government, have formed a steering committee to organise the event.
The location of the service has yet to be decided but it could be in Brisbane or a regional mining town, according to a government spokesperson.
Speaking on a visit to Moura, Queensland Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said mining deaths were a sad part of the state’s history.
“On this day, we will remember the Moura and Kianga miners and we will remember the miners of Mount Mulligan, Box Flat and Collinsville, and all miners who have lost their lives since mining began in Queensland,” Wilson said.
“Mining has helped forge our strong economy. From the gold rush days of the 1800s, mining has become a multi-billion dollar industry that is powering the state.
“And while we enjoy the benefits of the resources boom, we should reflect on how we got there and at what price – that’s what Miners’ Memorial Day is all about.”