CFMMEU Northern Mining & NSW Energy District holds its 24th Annual Memorial Day Service

SOLEMN: Labor leader Anthony Albanese (right) prepares to lay a wreath at the CFMEU Mineworkers Memorial Day at Aberdare on Sunday. Picture: Marina Neil
SOLEMN: Labor leader Anthony Albanese (right) prepares to lay a wreath at the CFMEU Mineworkers Memorial Day at Aberdare on Sunday. Picture: Marina Neil

FAMILY and friends of Quinton Moore, a contractor killed at Bengalla Mine in November, were at Aberdare on Sunday to see his name etched onto the saddest of rolls, the Jim Comerford memorial wall, during a moving service.

The 37-year-old was remembered as a popular and respected member of the community who left a huge hole in his family as the CFMMEU Northern Mining & NSW Energy District held its 24th annual memorial day service to remember the more than 1800 lives lost to coal mining in the Northern District coalfields since 1801.

Mr Moore was killed on November 3 while undertaking tyre maintenance at the Muswellbrook mine.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese was the guest of honour at Sunday's memorial service and delivered the keynote speech, telling the hundreds gathered that Jim Comerford would have hoped that - 23 years after the wall was unveiled - the industry would have been done adding names to it.

"Sadly, that job is not yet behind us," Mr Albanese said.

"There is a fresh name for this saddest of rolls.

"To Quinton's widow and all the members of his family here today, we join with you. Some among us can more closely imagine your grief than others, but all of us are here with you."

Mr Albanese said a lot had been done to improve safety in the mining industry, but one death was one too many.

As we look at all those names, we give thanks that their ranks do not grow at the remorseless and terrible rate that they used to.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese, from his keynote speech

"As we look at all those names, we give thanks that their ranks do not grow at the remorseless and terrible rate that they used to," he said.

"But, sadly, they still do grow.

"So much work has been done to improve things by miners, their unions, by management and mine owners.

"Our movement has worked tirelessly towards that most fundamental of outcomes: that a miner can leave home to start a shift, confident that the end of that shift will see them coming home again.

"But as Quinton's death so harshly reminds us, we are not there yet. We will keep working towards that.

"I believe that one day, we will achieve it.

"But we will gather here still, long after this wall has been given its last name. And we will remember them all."

SOLIDARITY: Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon and Labor leader Anthony Albanese at Federation House, Aberdare on Sunday for the Mineworkers Memorial Day service.

SOLIDARITY: Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon and Labor leader Anthony Albanese at Federation House, Aberdare on Sunday for the Mineworkers Memorial Day service.

Mr Albanese followed in the footsteps of many Labor leaders who have been the guest of honour at the event in previous years, including Bill Shorten (2014), Julia Gillard (2011) and Kevin Rudd (2007).

Member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon said this year's service was appropriately solemn and respectful.

Mr Fitzgibbon said it was a tragedy that yet another name has been added to the wall.

"Mercifully, the pace at which names have been added to the Memorial Wall has dramatically slowed in recent years, but one is one too many," he said.

"On Sunday our collective thoughts and prayers were with Quinton's wife, Shannon, and the family.

"I again thank the CFMEU's Mining and Energy Division for its dedication to making the Memorial Day a perpetual event. It plays an important role in reminding us all to be forever vigilant and to never be complacent.

"The Memorial Day is a difficult one for the many who attend to remember their own lost family members, and on Sunday we stood in solidarity with them too."

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