The biggest mining industry in the world was at the centre of a major industrial disaster when a massive explosion destroyed the mining town of Morwell in eastern Australia.
The mine was a cornerstone of the Northern Territory mining industry.
The blast killed at least five workers, and left the town and surrounding areas in ruins.
The explosion, which was recorded by a video, was the worst coal mining accident in the Northern Territories for over a decade.
“This was a terrible event,” said Tony Naylor, a former miner who was the head of the Morwell coal mining project at the time.
“It was a disaster to the whole industry, it was a huge loss of life, and it’s still a big problem today.”
In 2016, Mr Naylor led a panel of academics to study the impact of the disaster and the mining industry’s response.
The report, published in December, highlighted that the mining sector was not well prepared to respond to the Black Sunday disaster.
It said there were inadequate planning and training for those involved in mining and the failure to monitor and assess the impact the event had on people and the environment was a major cause.
The Black Monday tragedy sparked a major review into how the mining and energy sector could be prepared for and recover from such disasters.
“We found that the sector was poorly prepared for the event, and the industry was ill-prepared for the subsequent recovery,” said Professor Stephen Whitehouse, the author of the report.
“The industry had to develop a process that would enable it to plan for and prepare for a future event, while still maintaining the existing capability.”
The Morwell disaster highlighted a number of issues in the industry.
One of the biggest concerns was how to respond and recover when a mining disaster occurred.
“You need to be aware that it’s an industrial disaster, you need to think about the risk of a repeat,” Professor Whitehouse said.
“If there was another event like Black Monday, which occurred at a different location, how would you go about planning for that?”
The response of the industry The industry was at a crossroads.
Mining companies were in the process of moving out of the region, leaving millions of dollars of uncollected royalties unpaid and the local communities devastated.
A year after the disaster, the mining boom was booming again.
Mining had been booming in the region for decades and with new mines opening in Morwell, it created an opportunity for mining to expand further.
However, the Morselles, and particularly the Morwes, were not immune to the economic and environmental disaster.
“They were a big part of the economic boom and were a very vulnerable community,” said Dr Mark Cairns, a professor at the University of Tasmania.
The mining industry had been building mines on the outskirts of the town for more than a century. “
Their health and their ability to function was very low.”
The mining industry had been building mines on the outskirts of the town for more than a century.
The mines had been around for years, but by the time the Black Saturday disaster occurred, it had become clear they were not sustainable and not safe.
“Morwell has been a mining community for more 20 years,” Dr Cairn said.
It was only in the last 10 years that the region began to develop the infrastructure to attract new mining companies and to develop long-term plans to protect the region’s environment.
“In the mid-2000s, Morwell was considered one of the safest areas in the country,” Professor Cairs said.
The local community was devastated and in shock and pain, but the community of Morwys was also in shock.
“I remember thinking to myself ‘this is it’,” said Ms Naylor.
“My first reaction was ‘there’s nothing we can do about it, it’s too late’.” The government had to step in to make the industry safer and prepare the region.
“When the government stepped in, they were very proactive,” said Mr Noodles.
“There was no way we were going to be able to move our communities into another sector.”
In 2008, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet commissioned a study into how to better prepare for and cope with the Black Friday disaster.
The project was known as the Morwilly Project.
“One of the major recommendations in the Morwity Project was to establish a framework for managing and responding to the Morwick Black Friday events,” said Stephen Whitehead.
“By 2012, the government had allocated $8.7 million towards the project.
It included the development of a community resilience and resilience management plan and the establishment of a working group to look at the needs of the community.”
These groups had the task of reviewing the current state of the mining infrastructure and considering new, improved or enhanced solutions to mitigate the risks to local residents and local businesses.
“The Black Friday study also recommended the development and management of a training program that would help train workers in the areas