09 May 2019

SUBJECT/S: Beaconsfield Mine collapse

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: 17 miners went underground at Beaconsfield, there was a catastrophic rockfall. 14 came out and three disappeared. In the intervening 14 days until today, we discovered one man, Larry Knight had lost his life, two others had - Todd Russell and Brant Webb had, through a massive act of courage, they survived underground trapped for two weeks. 
When I think through this campaign about everything that's happened in two weeks, the life that we've all packed in, it is to me still a constant miracle that those two men survived. 
It's today that we had the funeral for Larry Knight in Launceston. 
I've been in touch with Brant and Todd during the campaign. I've rang them up to see how they are going, they are okay. I am sure there's many occasions, especially at the time of the rockfall, where their mind flashes back to that ordeal.
So to Todd and Brant, I've kept in touch with them over the years, they're two very special people. And to all of those who did the rescuing - and the rescue wasn't done you know, the police were excellent, emergency services - but the people who did the rescue of that case were actually eight other miners from the same mining company and a contractor, digging through incredibly hard rock.
Beaconsfield will stay with me forever. It reminds me of true courage, it reminds me of loss and it reminds me that we can never take our family for granted. 
To Brant and Todd and the families; another anniversary, well done. I know there were times where you didn't think that you'd reach this point.
Thank you everyone.