No love from mining giants for coal workers memorial
COUNTLESS hours on top of years of planning have been devoted to fundraising for a memorial to Ipswich and Rosewood miners, but the money in the bank is still falling short.
In a couple of months construction will start on the next stage of the memorial, honouring 186 workers who lost their lives in the local coal mining industry.
Stage one was unveiled in October last year and the group behind the project, Ipswich-Rosewood Coalminers Memorial Trust, is desperately trying to raise $270,000 for the next stage.
Now, the group has been given another $20,000 from the Federal Government, announced yesterday to coincide with the annual Miners Memorial Day.
Combined with money already in the bank plus pledges from the State Government, Ipswich City Council, and the CFMEU, they're still $75,000 short.
Mining company New Hope Group, who is still active in the region has offered some cash, but the other mining giants have been quiet.
Pleas to major companies who were active in the Ipswich area to contribute financially to building the memorial have continually fallen on deaf ears.
So much so that the group has almost given up. New Hope Group, a company still active in the area, is the only one to offer to help so far.
The group is hoping in the final hour coal mining giants the likes of BHP Billiton, active in Queensland if not in the Ipswich area, will offer some cash.
"We gave up trying about three years ago," John Walker, secretary and treasurer of the Ipswich-Rosewood Coalminers Memorial Trust said.
"We've tried a few different avenues to ask them to help us but we just didn't fit the criteria (for their grants). We're going ahead with construction anyway."
Stage two will see pillars, one each for Ipswich and Rosewood, erected in the middle of the memorial atop a hill at Limestone Park.
The two columns will show the coal seams in the two regions, giving a realistic view of how far underground workers had to go.