Australian Government moves to a national workers’ memorial

Earlier this week, the Australian Treasurer, Wayne Swan, delivered the budget statements for the next 12 months.  There were several issues that may have an impact on industrial relations and workplace safety over the next few years but the most obvious and tangible commitment was on the issue of a national worker’s memorial.

According to Budget Paper Number 2 (page 167):

“The Government will provide $3.6 million over four years for the establishment of a National Workers’ Memorial and an interactive website. The National Workers’ Memorial will honour Australian workers who have lost their lives due to work related accidents, incidents or disease, and serve as a reminder of the importance of workplace safety.”

The project will be coordinated by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations who, it is understood, has  already been discussing this concept.

Additional detail is required about the project as there is a major opportunity to build a dignified memorial and website but there is also a risk of producing something that alienates those worker support groups.  Any issues related to a memorial about worker deaths requires careful consideration and coordination.

Kevin Jones

Categories community, death, government, grief, OHS, politics, safety, UncategorizedTags , , , ,

6 thoughts on “Australian Government moves to a national workers’ memorial”

  1. It is all about to happen, I have been to the site where the work has started to build the Workers Glade.
    My hope when it is opened is that the organisers will invite \”Saint Rosemary\” to speak because she speaks from her heart about the true impact of lives lost to a workplace incident.
    She carries no malice for anyone she points no finger in blame she just shares the grief with the family and opens her heart for them.

    The Workers Glade when it is finished will be impressive as far as manmade structures go, but for peace and support there is no place that could ever replace the solace and the strength found when walking amongst the trees in the Deceased Workers Memorial Forest.

    All of us who know Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson know if she is not in her office and we need to find her, the very best place to start looking is at the base of the tree that Rosemary planted for her own brother in the Deceased Workers Memorial Forest.

    Rosemary I have said in many places as often as possible I am indeed fortunate to know you I am proud to call you my friend and my mentor.

  2. I\’d love to see $3.6 Million dollars go into supporting the families of these deceased workers. A memorial garden is not going to fix that gaping whole. $3.6 Million …I\’ll take a small slice of that for the court system please – let\’s speed those up a little…another decent magistrate and more funding for the Coroner\’s Court to cover the cost of inquests. I\’m sorry but all this feel-good talk is making me feek sick.

  3. National Workers\’ Memorial — establishment Expense ($m)
    The Government will provide $3.6 million over four years for the establishment of a National Workers’ Memorial and an interactive website. The National Workers’Memorial will honour Australian workers who have lost their lives due to work related accidents, incidents or disease, and serve as a reminder of the importance of workplace safety.
    The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resources of the
    Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

    If who ever is behind the concept of building a National Memorial for deceased workers does not speak with Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson from Work Injured Resource Connection then they are displaying just how myopic the workers compensation system really is.
    Rosemary started the Deceased Workers Memorial Forest without a single cent, she tends to the trees, cleans the Forest of debris on her own time and tends to the people who visit the Forest with her.
    If anyone in Australia knows what is required for a National Memorial it is our very own Saint Rosemary.

  4. As you say Kevin, there needs to be very very careful consideration on how this evolves. Given that governments are responsible for OHSW and workers compensation schemes and history is quite damning, it might be very wise for the proponents to seek the very wise counsel of Rosemary McKenzie-Fergusson who has first hand knowledge of such things with the Adelaide forest of memory, for workers killed at work.

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