Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I have been extraordinarily privileged to have worked with Matt Peacock since...well, for a long time.
And well before that, as a high school student I bought his first book about asbestos. It was either the first or the second book I bought with my own money - both were from the ABC concert ticket office in Gawler Place. I had played with fluffy asbestos at the Royal Adelaide Show. An Bradford Insulation display invited passers by to feel it. Matt was doing magnificent work in the ABC's investigations unit alerting people to a truth about which Australia in the 1970s didn't care.
Many many deaths later (and the deaths are continuing - the stuff found its way into carpet underlay only now being removed by unsuspecting renovators) Australia is on board. Matt - the geeky radio science journalist - was right, early.
James Hardie knew about it at the time. Its hiring policy was to take on older workers so they would be seen to have died of other causes. The union backed Hardy and turned its back on science. Asbestos meant jobs and members.
Matt's very recent book - Killer Company - tells the whole story. Matt is near the centre of the book, because that's the way to tell the story - as an investigation.
Killer Company is being rereleased in November (cheaper and with an index) to coincide with the screening of the two-part miniseries Devils Dust, on ABC Sunday November 11 and Monday November 12.
Matt reckons that although some of the conversations didn't happen exactly as recreated, the writers have got the essence of the story right. As with the book, Matt is at its centre.
I'll be watching, Sunday November 11, 8.30 pm.
Taker a look at the actors:
Devil's Dust Media Kit3 - Sun 11 and Mon 12 Nov 8 30pm Abc1
. Australia's James Hardie - close to evil
. James Hardie - the 7.30 Report video
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012