More than 1,800 miners killed in the Hunter Valley
The Prime Minister’s paid tribute to the more than 1,800 miners killed in the Hunter Valley over the past 210 years in a memorial service in Cessnock.
Julia Gillard attended the 16th annual Mineworkers Federation service at the memorial wall which lists the name of every miner killed in Hunter Valley mines.
She also used yesterday’s service to remember those lost in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Ms Gillard made special mention of miner Peter Jones who died at Chain Valley Bay in June.
“Four men were killed in the Gretley disaster in 1996,” she said.
“And three since 2009 including one man Peter Jones killed at Lake Macquarie just 13 weeks ago.
“It is well that we mourn them, we must always do that.”
Ms Gillard says Australia will ratify an International Labour Organisation convention concerning safety and health in mines, known as Convention 176.
She says while Australia’s safety standards are high it is important we work with other countries to improve mine safety internationally.
“The international Labor organisation has proposed a convention concerning safety and health in mines,” she said.
“While Australia has exceeded this standard we must play our part in lifting standards in other nations.
“I can therefore confirm today that Australia will ratify convention 176.”