$100,000 grant to spur miners' memorial project

MEMORIAL MOVE: An artist’s impression of the Ipswich/Rosewood Coal Miners Memorial.
MEMORIAL MOVE: An artist’s impression of the Ipswich/Rosewood Coal Miners Memorial. File

THE memorial planned for Ipswich coal miners is a step closer to becoming a reality after the Newman Government committed $100,000 to the project.

The Ipswich/Rosewood Coal Miners Memorial touted for Limestone Park hit a fundraising wall before Christmas after the original unveiling date of December 4 became unreachable.

The trust behind the project, lead by Beres Evans, had raised $335,000, well short of the $850,000 needed. Now the trust has raised $435,000.

The memorial will cut an impressive figure when complete, with a 20m bronze wall to bear the names of 185 miners who died mining underneath Ipswich. Two cement pylons representing the stratigraphic image of the Ipswich and Rosewood coalfields will stand in front of the bronze wall.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the $100,000 would be provided when construction was ready to begin.

"I feel that a permanent memorial to these men and women is a fitting way to remember their contribution to our state," he said.

"This government will continue to work with industry and unions to improve safety standards in our mines."

Mr Evans said the Government's support was a great surprise.

"We are at the half way mark and now it is a matter of us moving on the project. It's now a case of putting our nose to the grind to get the rest of the money," he said.

"It surprised me. It was the best Christmas present I've ever got. I just couldn't believe the generosity."

Ipswich MP Ian Berry said 60 years ago Ipswich was Queensland's largest coal producer with 67 mines representing half of the state's coal output.

"While the social and economic fabric of Ipswich has changed, coal mining remains deeply ingrained in the Ipswich psyche and forever preserved in our city's heritage," he said. "This memorial will honour the hard work of the many thousands of men, and the ultimate sacrifice of the Ipswich workers who died in our coalmines, that have played a pivotal role in the development of our city and our state.''

Mr Berry said he hoped the contribution would help the efforts to make the memorial project a reality.

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