Boom or Bust

Boom or Bust

Two years ago Marilyn Quinn heard the news that every mother dreads. The police knocked on her door at 3am to tell her that her son was dead - killed in a mining accident underground.


Miners often face uneven safety standards

Marilyn fought with the officer who broke the news - how could it be true, when she had only spoken to her son Mark the day before?

But Marilyn's grief is shared by more and more families across Australia. Recent figures from the government show that mining has the highest rate of deaths of any industry in the country.

But with salaries more than double the national average, and another 70,000 workers needed by 2015 to meet the current boom, many new, inexperienced men are being drawn to one of the world's most dangerous jobs.

In this heart-wrenching documentary Sharon Mascall meets a mine-worker who speaks out about breaches in safety standards in his own mine, the wife of a miner whose death is still under investigation, the trade union man charged with looking after the memorial to miners killed underground.

She speaks with representatives of the mining industry about what is being done to make the industry safer, and to Marilyn and Graham Quinn, who say they will "bleed for the rest of their lives for losing a beautiful, healthy young lad who went to work and never came home".

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