Marking 25 years of the Victorian mine rescue competition

Megan Davison, Executive Director, MCA Victoria notes that “in 1993, local emergency response organisations tested their skills at the State Coal Mine Rescue at Wonthaggi” A quarter of a century later, 10 teams – six from Victoria and four from interstate – returned to Gippsland for the 25th Victorian Mine Rescue Competition last weekend.

“After three days of scenarios designed to test and improve each team’s emergency response skills, including practical exercises in ropes rescue, first aid, and search and rescue, Newcrest’s Cadia Valley Operations was named overall winner.

“Estate Services Yallourn Emergency Response Team took out the award for overall safety while Kirkland Lake Gold’s Stawell mine’s Zane Smith (pictured) received the captain’s trophy.

“These and 10 other competition awards were presented to individuals and teams at a presentation dinner attended by more than 200 people in Morwell.

“At the dinner, Kirkland Lake Gold’s Stawell mine was recognised for its long-standing commitment to the competition and significant contribution to Victoria over its decades of operations. Stawell is the only mine to have competed in all 25 years of the competition.

“Other teams in the 2017 competition included Mandalay Resources Costerfield Operations, Falck/AGL Loy Yang, Evolution Mining, New Gold Peak Gold, Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville mine, CMOC Northparkes and the CFA’s specialist emergency response unit Oscar 1.

“The longevity of the competition and diversity of operations demonstrates the value placed by industry in the Victorian competition both within Victoria and across the nation.

“The competition was hosted by EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn mine. MCA Victoria thanks EnergyAustralia for its support.

“The 25th competition was also an opportunity to acknowledge the many volunteers who have dedicated their time to sharing their expertise and knowledge over the competition’s history. MCA Victoria thanks them for their ongoing contribution.”