Remembering Bernie Banton

Wednesday, 05 December, 2007


A state funeral held today has honoured Bernie Banton, the face of anti-asbestos campaigns across Australia, after his death last Tuesday.

Banton, 61, passed away peacefully in his sleep at 1am on Tuesday morning. Ironically, Bernie’s death coincided with Asbestos Awareness Week in Victoria and NSW.

He became the face of the union campaign ‘Make James Hardie Pay’ for the treatment and support of asbestos victims throughout the country.

Banton was a proud member of the AMWU and worked closely with unions on the ACTU campaign. Even after reaching a settlement with his former employer, James Hardie Industries, he continued to speak out and support other sufferers in receiving fair compensation from the company.

He campaigned right up until his death to see justice for asbestos disease sufferers, most recently shaming former Health Minister, Tony Abbott, into fast-tracking approval of the mesothelioma treatment drug, Alimta.

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