News

Heroes share life's lessons

Beaconsfield miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb tell how paramedics kept their spirits up.
Beaconsfield miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb tell how paramedics kept their spirits up.

FOR two weeks, we stayed glued to television screens as rescue crews did everything they could to save Beaconsfield miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb.

On Anzac Day, 2006, the two men entered the mine as ordinary Australians.

Fourteen days later they emerged as celebrities and heroes in the public's eyes. This week, they met up at a public forum in Rockhampton to officially launch CQUniversity's Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree.

"I know in my heart the paramedics kept the (mental) scars out. Those guys kept our minds pieced together. That's why they're my heroes," said Webb.

"They told us the truth so we could never doubt their honesty. They kept it real, and told it like it was.

"They were living this story and it's a tough gig," he said.

Todd Russell said to get through 321 hours of constant fear, they formed a relationship with paramedics on the outside; relationships that have held strong to this day.

He said post traumatic stress affected people differently.

"I was the only one out of hundreds of people who couldn't see something was wrong, until one day I came home and my wife and kids were on the doorstep with their bags packed.

"It doesn't make you any less of a man if you seek psychiatric help. It made my life better and turned my life around with my wife and family," he said.

Brant Webb told the audience one of the reasons the Beaconsfield mine collapsed was lack of communication.

"Communication from the front line guys on the ground, didn't get up to the top of the chain."

It took around 220 people and $40 million to rescue Webb and Russell.

"If the communication had been there, $40 million dollars wouldn't have been spent and Larry Knight would be alive," Webb said.

Both men now work to try to prevent workplace accidents.

"We've got to get the thought into worker's heads … don't cut those corners, you're a long time dead," Webb said.

"We see grown men in the mining industry cry when we talk about family.

"It makes them understand why they need to be safe and go home at the end of the day."



TRIBUTES FLOW: Fond memories for a fine man

Neville Lollback's casket surrounded by his favourite things, including fishing gear and a hockey stick, in the cathedral.

Kind words highlight how fondly Neville Lollback will be remembered

Dear Margaret Court, this is what it's like to be gay

Tennis legend Margaret Court believes Australia should not have marriage equality because it does not align with her view of Christian and Bible values.

Why I live for a time when being gay is 'normal'

Village Green's donation helps children

LIFE-CHANGER: Nurses from John Hunter Children's Hospital with the new hoist that was purchased thanks to a donation from the Village Green Hotel.

Money used to buy a new hoist at John Hunter Children's Hospital

Local Partners

TRIBUTES FLOW: Fond memories for a fine man

KIND words shared by our readers highlight how fondly Neville Lollback will be remembered in the Clarence Valley community.


NRRRL: Magpies on a mission for home fans

ON A MISSION: Captain- coach Dan Randall hopes to lead Lower Clarence Magpies to their first victory of the 2017 NRRRL season when they run out in front of their home fans against Evans Head Bombers at the Nest this Sunday.

Lower Clarence ready for another cracker at the Nest

Polocrosse hits fever pitch at Hawthorne Park

ALL SYSTEMS GO: This weekend Grafton Polocrosse Club hosts its first annual carnival at Hawthorne Park since the club re-formed.

New lease of life in the Clarence Valley for equestrian team sport

Support for Kara's treadmill marathon explodes

Former Grafton and now NSW cricketer Kara Sutherland bowling to cricket legend Sir Viv Richards. Photo: MARK NEWSHAM

Support for treadmill marathon thrills organiser Kara Sutherland.

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

IT’S been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas. Makes you feel old, doesn’t it?

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season will only have six episodes.

New details about what to expect from the eighth, final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

Sally Skelton and Bojesse Pigram pictured after their battle performance on The Voice.

Sunshine Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!