- Date published:
9:15 am, January 15th, 2011 - 113 comments
Categories: Conservation, families, Mining, workers' rights - Tags: broken promises, lies, pike river mine, Remembering the Pike River miners, smile and wave
This TVNZ report is interesting:
It is not an issue of money or time or commitment,” Key said today.
He said those involved in the operation had done everything they possibly could.
“The machine that was used to make the mine inert was meant to be operational and efficient within five to eight hours. It’s been running for 35 days.
“It’s in the situation where not only does it need to be returned to Queensland because the Queensland government have asked for it back, but actually the engines have burnt out.
“The plan had failed.”
Decision ignores recent progress, says Monk
Monk claims that neither the police nor the expert who addressed the families yesterday were aware of these very recent developments.
He said there have been “considerable successes” in the past few days in stabilising the mine atmosphere.
It seems extraordinary that the decision to stop the recovery came just a day after the announcement that the cracks in the mine had been sealed, preventing oxygen getting in to fuel combustion. This claim that technical issues are insurmountable has come out of nowhere just as things appear to be going better than ever.
He also the families understood that recent improved camera footage demonstrated that where there was thought to have been fire, there was not. He said that meant re-entering the mine would be important for the inquiry.
The families’ lawyer, Nicholas Davidson QC, has written to the Commissioner today asking for an immediate postponement of any decision pending further consideration and consultation.
The families will also engage their own West Coast mining expert.
Monk said the families are not unrealistic, but “a decision of such consequence should be made only with an accurate and up to date appraisal of facts, a full understanding of expert opinions, and with time to absorb the implications of whatever decision is then made”.
Key insisted no promises were made to get the remains of the miners out of the mine and said his sympathies were with the families.
“I know from engaging with those families how important is was for them to get full closure and we would have done whatever we possibly could to allow them to have that final closure.”
Key’s lying. Here are a few examples of what he said:
It’s one thing for Key to make a rash, overblown promise – we’re getting all too used to it. It’s another to break that promise without consulting and explaining his decision to the families first, or even having the guts to front up until the media pressure got too much. And it is insult heaped upon insult to then claim that he never made any such promise when he clearly did. I don’t know how you live with yourself, playing with people’s emotions like that and then denying all responsibility.
Key’ s had is moment of gravitas for the cameras. Now, National’s strategy is to say ‘move on’ so that the failure to deliver is glossed over. This is reflected in National pollster David Farrar attempting to cover for Key’s failure of leadership and lies by callously and grotesquely dismissing the recovery as not being worthwhile since there will only be “some bones and teeth … it could be just teeth”. The Nats have gone from ‘whatever it takes’ to ‘what’s the point’ in a few short weeks.
As important as closure for the families is, getting back into Pike River isn’t just an issue of recovering the remains of 29 workers who died doing their job.
How will the inquires find out what really went wrong if they can’t inspect the interior of the mine? 29 men died and some very serious charges might be laid as a result. But justice is far less likely to be served if the scene of the deaths can’t be examined.
Are the investors/receivers really prepared to walk away from a $300 million investment and coal resource worth $4 billion after just $5 million has been spent trying to stop the combustion?
And, finally, you can’t just leave a coal seam fire burning under a National Park and emitting untold amounts of greenhouse gases.
The company has $10 million in cash left. Since Key has washed his hands of his promises, that $10 million should be used to try to clean up the mess the company’s mine has caused and get their workers back to the families.