Bernie Banton spent his last few agonizing breaths fighting for their rights, this week the NSW Coalition kicked them and their families in the guts. Damn hard too.
They are the workers suffering and dying from the effects of asbestos, which leads to some particularly nasty and painful conditions.
Those who are unlucky enough to have this condition have a long, undignified, and agonizing death to look forward to. Their families will have to deal with watching their loved ones suffer excruciating pain with each breath, and know that there is nothing that can be done for them. This truly is a disease you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy, it is beyond horrific.
The company who gave us this deadly product was James Hardie, and the government at the time of the legal battles for compensation was the Howard Liberal Government.
As I mentioned, Bernie Banton was the man James Hardie hadn’t counted on. Bernie spent what were his final years fighting those whom he saw as the bastards who refused to help those suffering. Those bastards were the Directors of James Hardie, and Tony Abbott, who was then Health Minister. Tony Abbott did not want sufferers to have access to medication that was subsidised, and James Hardie didn’t want to be held liable for the serious problems that they had caused.
In a true David and Goliath battle, Bernie won on both counts, gaining compensation guarantees and access to subsidised medication.
Then, like a war criminal fleeing for Switzerland, James Hardie moved its headquarters overseas in a bid to avoid the compensation payments, under the Coalitions watch.
Here in NSW, victims of this awful condition have received yet another awful blow, at the hands of a heartless Coalition government.
Some of you may remember I mentioned NSW Attorney General Greg Smith in a previous post, well, it seems Greg’s priorities are a little more than back the front.
Unlike the state governments in Western Australia, South Australia, and Victoria, Greg Smith has decided that these poor victims and families should receive no compensation at all if the sufferer dies before the compensation case is finalised in court. Nothing, nada, nil, not a brass razoo….
This is an unprecedented heartless act of total bastardry.
This virtually forces the victims to spend their final months, not with their loved ones, but in court fighting for what no reasonable person would say they don’t deserve. Mr Smith is also encouraging the legal team opposing compensation payments to drag the proceedings out and delay an outcome as long as possible as they will be financially rewarded if the victim dies before his claim is finalised.
The compensation claims the government would be liable for are estimated at $23Million over 40 years. Just over half a million a year, not really expensive at all….
More than this has probably been spent in the last year on marketing and spin regarding the North West Rail Link, which hasn’t even been started yet….
Apparently, according to Greg Smith, to pay this compensation would leave the NSW Government open to legal damages from James Hardie that could cost the govt anywhere between $23Million and $140Million over 40 years.
So, at the absolute worst, the govt would be faced with a cost of $3.5Million in a year. This is based on the assumption that James Hardie would not only take on the NSW govt legally, but win. It assumes that a company like James Hardie would be seeking to gain more publicity for short-changing their victims. It also assumes that a judge would find in the favor of a company that has caused the deaths of thousands over a government trying to compensate victims families.
According to Greg Smith, this is not a battle worth fighting. What a gutless display of apathy… Barry O’Farrell should show some guts and sack Mr Smith now, as he should have done last fortnight after the pedophile fiasco.
It is interesting to note that the Coalitions Greg Smith won’t fight for asbestos victims and their families, but is happy to fight for his mate the pedophile… Great priorities…
Greg Smith you are a disgrace to the parliament, and Mr O’Farrell, you are a gutless man of no principles for allowing Mr Smith to keep his job.
Assuming that Barry O’Farrell will do nothing, and that contacting his office will serve no purpose… Greg is the Liberal member for Epping, below are the contact details for the local press in his electorate. I encourage you to voice your anger towards him regarding this, and his support of a pedophile, to this paper. Maybe then he will get the message….
The Northern District Times
Phone: (02) 9024 8722
For those wishing to write to the press but don’t know what to write, feel free to copy & paste my below letter…
I am writing to complain that the local state member for Epping, Greg Smith, is becoming an embarrassment to common decency.
In the last month he has insulted the victim of a paedophile, supported that paedophile, and is now denying the victims of asbestos poisoning compensation if they have the nerve to die.
If the Liberal Party had any decency left in them they would sack him, and I hope the local branches have the common sense to preselect someone else next time around.
In fact, if this is the type of behaviour we can expect from the Liberal Party, I hope people will vote Labor next time.
This is nothing short of a disgrace.
Thank you for your time.