ABC reveals look at James Hardie asbestos saga Devil’s Dust

Anthony Hayes as Bernie Banton

The ABC has revealed the first look at its new two-part drama Devil’s Dust, produced by FremantleMedia Australia.

Going to air on Sunday 11 November, concluding the next night, Devil’s Dust is based on the James Hardie asbestos saga and inspired by the reporting of ABC journalist Matt Peacock.

The story spans four decades and follows four people.

It features Anthony Hayes as the late Bernie Banton who became the face of the court case. Banton’s wife Karen is played by Alexandra Schepisi, while Peacock is played by Ewen Leslie.

The drama also features the fictional character of Hardie spin doctor Adam Bourke, played by Don Hany. Former Hardie and then News Limited spinner Greg Baxter who featured in the real court case, does not appear in the drama.

The story is based on Peacock’s book Killer Company about the company’s denial and ensuing court case around the use of asbestos. It is directed by Jessica Hobbs, written by Kris Mrksa and produced by Jason Stephens, Antonia Barnard and Stephen Corvini.

The mini-series began production in May this year.


  1. JJ
    30 Oct 12
    3:33 pm

  2. Once again Anthony Hayes knocks it out of the park.

  3. Hardly Hidden
    12 Nov 12
    10:42 pm

  4. This was an excellent production. Hats off to the ABC and rest in piece all the poor innocent workers who have lost their lives.

    A couple of the ex James Hardie employees who were in senior roles are referenced on Linkedin and you might recognise the companies.

    According to these Linkedin profiles:

    (Edited by Mumbrella for legal reasons)

    What is the sentiment in our industry regarding James Hardie and the fact that the ex senior management are still openly getting gigs? Does it make you think twice before doing business with one of these companies listed above?

    I don’t mean to troll here, nor lynch, more get an idea from our industry about ethics and sentiment from this matter and how ‘mediafolk’ feel.

  5. Hardly Hidden
    13 Nov 12
    10:01 am

  6. I was censored?

    I cant see there being any legal consequences for Mumbrella by referring to public Linkedin profiles? Nor referencing established companies associated with our industry who are employing ex Hardie staffers, who were apparently integral to some of the deception that took place.

    I will just have to ask the question on Twitter I guess?

  7. mumbrella
    13 Nov 12
    10:57 am

  8. Hi HH,

    I’m working on the assumption that there were probably legal as well as story reasons why certain characters in the programme were fictional rather than based on real people. I’m going to be similarly cautious.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  9. Hardly Hidden
    14 Nov 12
    10:36 am

  10. @Tim,

    I am hearing you loud and clear. Perhaps I was a little out of line? Although, nevertheless the directors got away with slapped wrists, which, on a personal level, makes my blood boil…

    Thanks for the explanation :)

  11. Max Glasby
    16 Nov 12
    9:09 am

  12. Hi, Unfortunately we missed this on TV and was wondering if there are any plans to replay on ABC2 down the track?