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Monday, 24 February 2014
Page: 706

Mr WHITELEY (Braddon) (16:07): On 11 December 2013 I informed the House of the tragic deaths of two west coast locals in a mining accident, Mr Craig Gleeson and Mr Alistair Lucas. It is with great sadness today that I inform the House of a third death at the Mount Lyell mine. In the Christmas-New Year break, on 17 January this year, Mr Michael George Welsh lost his life following a mud rush in the mine. Mr Welsh was a father and grandfather who lived on the west coast. On behalf of the parliament I express my sincere condolences to his family, his friends and to the west coast community. Operations at the mine have been temporarily suspended. I have met with Mount Lyell management and the West Coast Council to ensure that they are provided with all the support that can possibly be given.

On Sunday I attended a beyondblue event on the west coast to raise awareness of mental health issues in the community. West coasters were joined by three Hawthorn footballers who ran a football clinic for the children while beyondblue board member Fiona Coote conducted an important community information session on mental health matters. I would like to thank all those involved in the event for their commitment to supporting the west coast, including West Coast Mayor, Robyn Geraghty; the many local volunteers, especially from the Queenstown football club who made the event possible; beyondblue; the Hawthorn Football Club; and the AMWU, who provided much support on the day.