A big fund-raising effort by AMWU members will greatly contribute toward realising the project for building a memorial to mine workers who have lost their lives on Central Queensland’s coal fields, the AMWU announced on Monday.
According to the Union, Queensland Coal Shop Steward recently presented a $90,000 cheque to the progress committee of the coal town of Moura, where the memorial to the 50 workers who have died in the Moura-Kianga mines is to be built over coming months.
AMWU delegate Chris Harper said about 700 members from the Union’s mine branches at Callide, BMA Blackwater, Lake Lindsay, Tarong, Curragh and Goonyella/Riverside made contributions, with the largest effort made by the branch members in Moura itself.
“It makes me very proud that our mine members in the region had no hesitation in supporting this,” Mr Harper said.
“There have been too many fatalities in mining over it’s history and to have in place in our own area, a memorial to those guys lost since 1961, is close to the hearts of our communities.”
The start of construction work of the circular memorial is expected to commence this month. The building has been designed in the form of a shell roof resembling a miner’s helmet, with the entry intended so visitors feel they are walking down a mine tunnel.
Moura Convener Peter Hammond said it was hoped that the opening of the memorial would be in time to mark the 40th anniversary of the Kianga disaster of September 1975, when 13 miners lost their lives.
“We’ve had disasters in Moura which nearly took away the town’s spirit but the community all hung together and got through it,” Mr Hammond said.
“Many of us have lost someone in those accidents and we’re pleased the community will now have a tribute to those men.”