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The dangers of James Hardie’s asbestos empire

Republishing of Matt Peacock’s Killer Company

Matt Peacock is one of the ABC’s most experienced reporters, and is currently a journalist for Foreign Correspondent and 7.30 Report. He has been an award-winning foreign correspondent and also chief political correspondent for national radio current affairs programs: AM, PM and The World Today.

Matt first warned the public about the dangers of James Hardie’s asbestos empire in an award-winning radio series in 1977.

He has followed the tragic trail since then and in 2009 published Killer Company, the inside story of how Matt and asbestos campaigner, Bernie Banton brought the company to account. This widely praised book was a complete game changer in the ongoing battle.

“Bernie would be up there, looking down and saying ‘Mate, well done!’,” Karen Banton, widow of Bernie Banton said of the book.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described it as “Inspirational! Every corporate management course in this country should have this book as essential reading.”

“I thought I knew the James Hardie story ... but nothing quite prepares you for Peacock’s forensic look,” Kathleen Noonan, of the Courier Mail, said.

Killer Company is being republished by ABC Books on November 1 to tie in with the broadcast of a two-part drama series Devils Dust inspired by the book.

Matt worked as a consultant on Devil’s Dust, which is written by Kris Mrksa and outlines the James Hardie asbestos saga.

The character of Matt Peacock is played by Ewen Leslie and Anthony Hayes stars as Bernie Banton. Alexandra Schepisi plays Bernie’s wife Karen and Don Hany plays the fictional character of James Hardie PR Adam Bourke.

Devil’s Dust will air on ABC1 on Sunday 11 and Monday 12 November.

The book will be available from ABC Shops and other retail outlets including ebooks from November 1. The hard copy sells for $24.99 and is well worth reading.

CPA Campaign Kit for a Nationalised Public Health System (PDF)

Guardian articles:

23-02-2011: COAG health deal – Privatisation by stealth

28-07-2010: Importance of primary health care

02-06-2010: Budget 2010-2011 Warning – National ID card

05-05-2010: Rudd’s health revolution – Designed to fail

21-04-2010: Labor’s federal public hospital takeover – Privatisation & GST grab

01-04-2009: A new public health care system needed

Australian Marxist Review (AMR)

#52 (06-2010): Rudd’s regressive health reforms