THE TRAGIC DEATH OF THIS YOUNG MAN AND TWO OF HIS CO-WORKERS IMPACTED SO MANY LIVES IN THE SMALL TOWN OF GLADSTONE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
Matthew died well before his time. At just 22 years of age he had his whole life ahead of him - many dreams yet to be realised ... goals still to kick ... in fact, the slate of this young man was very much yet to be written.
The day South Australia received word of the horrific explosion at Gladstone was one that will remain in many minds for some time to come.
The spirit of workplace safety changed dramatically as a result of this event. All of this will be cold comfort to the families and friends of the 3 men that went to work that day and never came home.
There is no question that working with explosives is dangerous work. That is precisely why it is so important for the investigation teams to piece together the devastation so as to give the people of Gladstone, and indeed the industry involved in this line of work the answers they need.
The SafeWork SA investigation determined that Quin Investments Pty Ltd and the Mr Kuzab were negligent in maintaining the facility adequately. They were charged with breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in failing their duty of care to their employees. Both parties entered a ‘not guilty’ plea and so began a long and arduous trial.
In August 2010 Magistrate Ardlie found both parties guilty and ordered the highest penalty under the old penalty system with a maximum of $100,000 being available. Both parties were fined $95,000 + costs. 17 Victim Impact Statements were submitted and a total of $40,000 (that being $20,000 from each defendant) was divided up between those 17 people.
We understand as of September 2010 that an appeal has been lodged.