Goondiwindi man Donald Rabbitt was killed at Blackwater's Curragh mine on January 12, 2020.
Goondiwindi man Donald Rabbitt was killed at Blackwater's Curragh mine on January 12, 2020.

Grieving dad’s push for Blackwater mine death inquest

THE heartbroken father of a fallen Blackwater mine worker has called for a coronial inquest into his death after meeting with Mines Minister Anthony Lynham.

Experienced tyre fitter Donald Rabbitt, 33, was killed in a horrific workplace tragedy at Curragh mine on January 12.

Treasured memories and keepsakes, including a photograph of father Robin with a baby Donald (pictured), are all the Rabbitt family has to remember him by.

Robin Rabbitt recently met with Dr Lynham in Brisbane as part of a pursuit for answers about his son's death.

Mr Rabbitt said he discussed his push for the inquest with Dr Lynham, as well as proposed industrial manslaughter laws.

"I want a coronial inquest so I know what happened to my son," he said.

Coronial inquests are public hearings held to examine the cause and circumstances surrounding a person's death.

An inquest is under way into the death of miner Daniel Springer, who was critically injured in a workplace incident at the Goonyella Riverside mine in August 2017.

BEST FRIENDS: Robin Rabbitt with a young Donald Rabbitt. Picture: Supplied
BEST FRIENDS: Robin Rabbitt with a young Donald Rabbitt. Picture: Supplied

Mr Rabbitt said he also wanted charges laid against anyone found liable for his son's death.

"Whoever is directly responsible for my son's death, I want to see them brought to justice," he said.

Mr Rabbitt was grateful to have secured the meeting Dr Lynham, who he described as a "very nice person".

"He told me if I needed any help to contact him," Mr Rabbitt said.

"I'm glad the meeting happened. Anthony seems like a good person and I think he does actually care."

Despite the minister's support, Mr Rabbitt admitted he struggled daily with the loss of his son.

"Don and I were best friends for the 33 years of his life," he said.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.

"We did everything together, we knew everything about each other.

"I'm still having trouble coming to terms with it all - it's just so sad."

Donald Rabbitt was a Thiess employee at Curragh mine, which is owned by Coronado Global Resources.

An early report into his death stated the 33 year old was changing the tyre and rim on a rear axle expanding low loader at the open cut coal mine and was found trapped underneath a wheel assembly.

Yesterday, a Coronado spokesman said the investigation into Mr Rabbitt's death was continuing.

"Coronado continues to undertake a full investigation to understand the causes of this incident and support the third party reviews under way," he said.

"Our priority remains the welfare and safety of our employees and contractors."



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