Disaster memory disturbs miner
“I JUST want it to be over,” a 59-year-old Moura miner said after his two-day hearing to appeal a compensation refusal at the Rockhampton Industrial Court yesterday.
But the man's ordeal is far from over.
Maurice Blackburn lawyer, Gino Andrieri, said a decision from Commissioner John Thompson regarding his client may not be reached for months.
Q-COMP denied the man's application for compensation for emotional and psychological damages he suffered from 2008 onwards, after his employer began mining an area where 11 of his former workmates were entombed from a 1994 underground explosion.
The man's psychiatrist, Dr John Flanagan, yesterday told the court the man had endured “several months of uncertainty, concern and distress”.
Dr Flanagan said his stress was caused by dealing with his employer, Anglo American Coal, and the community.
As a union official and employee of the mine during the infamous 1994 Number Two mine disaster, the man agreed to liaise between his employer and family members of the entombed miners.
But he suffered verbal abuse from some families.
Q-COMP's defence lawyer Frank Lippett argued the man's emotional problems were not caused by the 2008 mining, but came to a head at that period after spending 39 years working in the mines and losing 36 workmates in Moura's three mining disasters.
Dr Flanagan said it could be the case, and the man may have suffered from an adjustment disorder.