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Solid Energy must open the drift

Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.

 “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is another tragic blow to the Pike River families. Why can’t the Government responsible for this company ensure that every possible step is taken to retrieve their loved ones as they did in the Erebus disaster.

“Re-entry into the drift is both possible and feasible and the risks are manageable as stated clearly by Tony Forster, the recent Chief Mines Inspector. 

“Solid Energy is a failed company that ran a mine safety regime no better than Pike River and is fearful of any further investigation into either the Pike tragedy or the mining environment of the time. 

“There’s no doubt Worksafe and its predecessor the Department of Labour are complicit in blocking the re-entry because they too have clearly been implicated by the Royal Commission in the evidence exposed so far. 

“The families want to see any evidence from the mine drift that may help resolve the many tragic unknowns of this disaster,” says Damien O’Connor.