When Percy Verrall was diagnosed with the first case of Black Lung disease in Australia in three decades he was not about to take it quietly.
We’ve subsequently seen black lung become the asbestosis of the mining industry and 17 workers have been diagnosed with the disease.
Inspired by Percy, Essential developed the Dust to Dust campaign for the CFMEU to drive political action and policy change taking the message from regional mining communities to the halls of political power in Canberra and Brisbane, while taking the fight to mining companies.
The integrated media, digital and political strategy compelled the Federal Parliament to conduct a Senate Inquiry into the issue, and later the Queensland Government took action and announced its own Parliamentary Inquiry into black lung disease.
Both inquiries were instrumental in uncovering systemic and regulatory failures which contributed to the problem, including high legal dust levels, ineffective compliance frameworks and an inadequate workplace compensation system.