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Mum speaks out on mine safety

Joanne Ufer speaks out on mine safety in a new TV ad.
Joanne Ufer speaks out on mine safety in a new TV ad.

JOANNE Ufer is a mum on a mission.

She's been through every mother's worst nightmare, having lost her son Josh Ufer, 25, in the Pike River Mine explosion.

And she doesn't want his death - or the deaths of the other 28 miners killed in the New Zealand coal mine explosion on November 19, 2010 - to be in vain.

Ms Ufer, who lived in Middlemount at the time of her son's death, has joined forces with the CFMEU, speaking about her loss and her mine safety concerns in a television ad, which went to air in Central Queensland yesterday.

The ad targets BHP, which the CFMEU has been in negotiations with for more than a year, asking them not to leave the responsibility of mine safety in the hands of managers only.

But Ms Ufer says the message is for all mining companies.

"I don't want Josh to have died in vain with nothing learnt from the incident," Ms Ufer said.

"Standards in Australia are quite high but we don't want to see a backward step.

"For me personally I think it (mine safety) should be a combined effort.

"The workers, the unions and the mining inspectors should be involved."

In the television ad, Ms Ufer says she is "deeply shocked by evidence of negligence of management" at Pike River Mine.

"I never want any other family to have to go through what we have.

"Mine safety is a matter of life and death.

"It is too important to be handed over just to management."

Yesterday, Ms Ufer said a royal commission into the explosion had revealed safety issues and negligence.
"If these things had been noted or not overlooked... (Josh and his co-workers) may not have died.

"We don't want to see that happen here.

"Mine safety should be a number one priority."

Topics:  cfmeu, explosion, pike river mine, safety, tv commercial, workplace accident


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