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."



Bluesfest royalty to drop by

GUITAR LEGEND: Santana at Byron Bay Blues Festival 2013.

Legends to grace Bluesfest' stage in 2017.

On Wright track to crown

TOP LEAD: With four wins on the board, Tyler Wright  will be hard to stop and is a sure bet to claim this year's WSL World Women's title.

HAS Tyler Wright already stitched up this year's world title?

Call for more Tweed special ed places

SUPPORT: Jacob Lorenzo, 18, from Tweed Heads South struggled to find a special education position when he moved up to the Tweed.

More special ed places needed in Tweed.

Local Partners

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

The Dixie Chicks to headline 2017 CMC Rocks festival

US country music group The Dixie Chicks.

ORGANISERS move festival dates to lock in US country music stars.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E3 - Which picnic date is better?

The Bachelorette Georgia Love, centre, with her top 11 bachelors.

Lee and Matt get some one-on-one time with Georgia.

Callea channels legend for Glitter

WHAM: Anthony Callea plays the Glitter Festival on October 8 at The Arts Centre Gold Coast.

Anthony Callea brings the songs of a star to the glitter strip.

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Penthouse in beach paradise

Take in the beach front views from the balcony of 701/ 4-10 Douglas Street, Kirra.

This beachfront penthouse is the perfect place to enjoy the views.

Casuarina sets the benchmark in Tweed market

Our property market is as strong as it's been since the crisis

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record