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7.30 Report -

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Rescue effort to free miners continues

Broadcast: 01/05/2006

Rescue effort to free miners continues

Reporter: Jocelyn Nettlefold

KERRY O'BRIEN, 7:30 REPORT PRESENTER: Welcome to the program. And what an excruciating time it is
for family and friends, rescuers and the rest of the tiny northern Tasmanian mining community of
Beaconsfield. But most particularly for the two men still trapped in a cramped metal cage, still 12
metres of solid rock and at least two days from precious freedom. By 9:25 tonight East Coast time,
it will be exactly six days since Brant Webb and Todd Russell were entombed in the gold mine they
were working. Fourteen of their workmates made it to the surface, but when the body of another
miner, Larry Knight, was retrieved on Thursday, little hope was held for Russell and Webb. Then
came the jubilation and celebration last night, with the news that they were alive. But today, the
mood from the rescue front was much more sombre, as a new reality had to be confronted. How to keep
the two men alive, while working out the best way of getting to them without jeopardising their
precarious hold on life? In a few moments we'll cross live to Beaconsfield for the latest, but
first, this on-the-spot report from Jocelyn Nettlefold.

JULIE KELLY, BRANT WEBB'S MOTHER-IN-LAW: We're just about to sit down and have tea and the
gentleman from the mine came rushing in. He wouldn't speak to us. He still had his muddy boots on
and knelt down crying and said to Rachel, "They're alive".

KAYE RUSSELL, TODD RUSSELL'S MOTHER: They found them, they're alive, they're talking to us, they're
in contact and they're going to get them out.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD, 7:30 REPORT REPORTER: It's the news the entire town of Beaconsfield had been
praying to hear. Miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb are alive. Since earth tremors rocked and
goldmine last Tuesday night, the men have been trapped nearly a kilometre underground. It's dark,
cramped, wet and hot. The temperatures at least 35 degrees. Yet remarkably, they are not seriously
injured. Their lives saved by the protective cage on the machine they were operating. Their
families who've spoken to the pair via a radio link bored through 12 metres of rock, are
understandably desperate to have them brought to the surface.

NOEL RUSSELL, TODD RUSSELL'S FATHER: They have put new radio equipment down there and they're
talking to the boys quite freely at the moment. So the sooner they get out themselves all the

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Unions say that it could be another 48 hours before the pair see the light of
day. Noel Russell says that his son has got the stamina to hang on.

NOEL RUSSELL: Oh, he's a good boy.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: With the original shaft blocked by the rock fall, rescuers are now approaching
the men via a secondary horizontal shaft. The operation to clear the final metres has become more
delicate, as the team nears the anxious pair.

MURRAY BIRD, GENERAL MANAGER, MINES RESCUE PTY LTD: History has shown us you never give up. There
was one case in Germany where six gentlemen lasted 23 days and were found. So it can happen. So you
never give up, but it's hard to keep on edge and keep pushing and work as fast and efficient as you
can to get back in.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Murray Bird heads the NSW Mine Rescue Organisation which trains Tasmanian
rescue teams. This afternoon two of his instant management team flew down to join the effort.

MURRAY BIRD: They have got unstable ground, and as you're approaching it the last thing you want to
do is make it move again. They know that the men are in good condition at the moment. So yes, you
have to move with a bit of stealth.

INSPECTOR WARWICK KIDD, NSW FIRE BRIGADES SERVICE: These environments are like pick up sticks.
You've got to be very careful how and what you pick up and move and how you actually dig your way
into the area where the guys are. So they're going to be working very hard at being very careful
and not rushing the situation.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Nine years ago, thousands of viewers were transfixed by live television
coverage of Stuart Diver's rescue after three nights buried alive by the Thredbo landslide. NSW
fire brigade inspector Warwick Kidd took part in that rescue and has been advising the Tasmanian
rescue team by telephone today.

WARWICK KIDD: The miners have been sitting down cramped in that little cell for a long time. They
haven't got great circulation probably and, ah, they're going to need to take a good deal of time
when they physically extricate them, when they move them out. Too much too soon and they could go
into greater medical problems.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: In Beaconsfield, Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon thanked mine specialists from
around the country and is confident the rescue will be a success.

PAUL LENNON, TASMANIAN PREMIER: To still be alive five days after you were trapped, I think it's a
statement in itself about the determination and courage of Todd and Brant and I'm very hopeful
along with the rest of the Australian community that they're going to be able to come to surface to
tell their story and what a story it will be.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Each rescue shift involves 10 men underground, six responsible for the
excavation of hundreds of tonnes of rock. A priority today has been the effort to insert a tube
through 12 metres of rock so food and drink can be delivered to the men.

MATTHEW GILL, MANAGER, BEACONSFIELD MINE: What's going to them is now tablets and sustagen.

REPORTER: What sort of tablets?

MATTHEW GILL: Tablets that the paramedics have recommended given what their bodies are demanding

CORINNA MITCHELL, BRANT WEBB'S AUNT: We were told there for a while that tonnes of dirt and rocks
has fallen down and there was nowhere for them to hide. We always hoped that the big machine they
would have been able to get under that. We were told, no, that wasn't far enough off the ground.
They were really trying to prepare us for the worst.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: Brant Webb's aunts flew in from Newcastle and Bundaberg to support the family
through what they feared was going to be a sad time. They're thrilled with the news the two miners
survived the rock fall.

ALLYSON HASSLER, BRANT WEBB'S AUNT: We just all cried for hours. I don't think we've stopped crying
yet. It's wonderful news.

REPORTER: They're putting in a pipe to get food and drink to the blokes. Everyone is speculating on
what they'd like?

ALLYSON HASSLER: A beer and a cigarette.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: But underlying the euphoria in this tiny community is the grim reality that
this mining accident did claim a life, that of 44-year-old Larry Knight.

CORINNA MITCHELL: You feel so happy for yourself and so sad for Larry's family. So I don't know.

REPORTER: I understand they're happy for you, though?

CORINNA MITCHELL: As we would be for them, and it could have been either way, but it would have
been so nice for the three of them to come out of this.

JOCELYN NETTLEFOLD: With crucial hours and an agonising wait ahead, friends, relatives and the
people of Beaconsfield have faith the two survivors will come home.

KAYE RUSSELL: I'm going to kiss him and I'm going to hug him and I'm going to say, "Don't you ever
do that to me again, Toddles. "

KERRY O'BRIEN: I don't think Toddles had much say in the matter.

Shorten on the mine rescue effort

Broadcast: 01/05/2006

Shorten on the mine rescue effort

Reporter: Kerry O'Brien

KERRY O'BRIEN: Australian Workers Union national secretary Bill Shorten has been in close contact
with rescue workers and families, receiving regular briefings from mine management. He joins me now
by satellite from Beaconsfield. Bill Shorten, this is a clearly a dicey situation confronting
rescuers. What is your understanding of the task ahead?

Kerry. What I do understand is that the task ahead will not be quick. These men are trapped 925
metres beneath the surface of the earth. They are enclosed by metres and metres of hard rock.
Getting them out is not going to be simple or easy. The news last night that they were alive is
fantastic news. But it will not be quick or easy or simple to extricate them from their tomb.

KERRY O'BRIEN: So now that they are receiving that sustenance, is it your understanding that it's
now just a matter of a short time before the rescue operation will get under way again?

BILL SHORTEN: To explain in a nutshell what's happened, they've drilled through another shaft.
They've created a new tunnel to get to a point where the rock fall occurred and hopefully where the
men are. Now in the process of that they found the men are alive. They've moved 24 metres of hard
rock, literally hundreds of tonnes out the way by drilling and blasting. Now they're within 12
metres of where the men are, they can't simply use the same scale of explosives. What they've been
doing today, along with trying to make sure that Todd and Brant have some food and nourishment, is
to make sure that they've got a mechanism whereby they can get that last 12 metres. They look like
they're going to use a tunnel boring machine. That seems a very sensible mechanism, because it
won't do as much violence to the surrounding rock as perhaps the use of explosives would. And, of
course, we've lost a life, a valuable life last Tuesday through rock falls, so they're going to
have to proceed as carefully as they can, as cautiously as they can and unfortunately, this will
take days, not hours.

KERRY O'BRIEN: How would you describe the mood of the rescue workers that you have talked with?

BILL SHORTEN: I tell you what, these workers are amazing. Literally they have to be shoe horned at
the end of their shift to come up. They want to stay there and get their mates. If you were ever in
trouble you would want these Tasmanian hard rock miners trying to find you, because I reckon
they're the best in the world.

KERRY O'BRIEN: They themselves must have ridden a real rollercoaster here with a lot of doubt in
their minds as they kept digging, particularly after they found the body of Larry Knight, but then
to ascertain that these two were still alive and now to face the time ahead. Would you describe
their mood now as more optimistic than anything?

BILL SHORTEN: I've been speaking with the family and speaking with our members who are the part of
the rescue team. It's a bit of both. On one hand, you know tonight they know their mates are alive.
The dads, the fathers they are alive. That is a far better place to be than the previous days up to
Sunday night. But what is so difficult - and one of the trapped miner's mothers summed it up best -
they just want to go back to normal. They want to see their sons walk in and feed them a meal. It's
a mixture of resigned patience, optimism that they're alive but also they really desperately dearly
want their sons and husbands home.

KERRY O'BRIEN: I assume that you and the families can understand the view of the psychologist
advising the rescue effort that allowing Brant Webb and Todd Russell to hear from family when
they're still there could actually be counterproductive?

BILL SHORTEN: There's been - this rescue is breeding rumours. I don't know what has or hasn't been
allowed. I do know that these men have sent the message that they want some food and they want to
go home. They're pleased that their families are in touch and they know they want their families to
know their spirits are reasonably high. I don't know if a careful transcript is being kept and I
think perhaps some of the anecdotal reporting who said what where, I guess time will tell how
accurate that is.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Bill Shorten, thanks for talking with us.

BILL SHORTEN: Thanks, Kerry.

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Former gangland lawyer fears for his life

Broadcast: 01/05/2006

Former gangland lawyer fears for his life

Reporter: Josie Taylor

KERRY O'BRIEN: When one of Melbourne's leading crime figures, Mario Condello, was gunned down
outside his home in February, he joined more than 20 other victims of the city's bloody underworld
turf war. But for the man who had acted as legal representative for many of those killed,
Condello's death was a particularly ominous event. George Defteros revelled in his reputation as
the lawyer of choice for some of the more notorious members of Melbourne's criminal community,
enjoying the attention of the cameras as he escorted his clients in and out of court. That is until
he was arrested, along with Mario Condello, and charged with conspiracy to murder. Even though the
charge was dropped, George Defteros's life is now bereft of any dubious glamour, and he and his
family now live in fear that they're still targets. Josie Taylor reports.

GEORGE DEFTEROS, FORMER LAWYER: I am a trained criminal lawyer that defended gangland identities -
no question about that - to the best of my ability. And I don't wish to be perceived anything more
than that.

JOSIE TAYLOR: In the centre of Melbourne's underworld war, one man has been a constant presence at
the side of gangland's most infamous criminals. But not without considerable cost.

GEORGE DEFTEROS: I would like an apology. I would like to have my name restored in the manner in
which it was previously when I did enjoy a very good reputation as a hard working criminal lawyer.

PAUL MULLET, VICTORIA POLICE ASSOCIATION: He appears to be paining himself as a martyr and my
strong advice to Mr Defteros is "Get on with life".

DARREN PALMER, CRIMINOLOGIST, DEAKIN UNIVERSITY: There may not be much public sympathy for him, in
particular, and others who are doing similar kinds of work.

GEORGE DEFTEROS: I've represented many, many people over the years and some colourful characters -
I've represented Alphonse Gangitano, I've represented Tony Mokbel, I've represented Mick Gatto.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Mick Gatto was acquitted of murdering Andrew Veniamin. Tony Mokbel is Australia's
most wanted man, believed to have fled overseas with $20 million. Other clients are dead. Alphonse
Gangitano, Graham Kinniburgh and two months ago, Mario Condello - all murdered in Melbourne's
gangland war. For them all, George Defteros played the role of loyal advocate to the hilt. The
self-described "gung ho lawyer" was prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty.

GEORGE DEFTEROS: I also made myself available virtually around the clock. 24 hours a day I could be
contacted by mobile phone, and I would often get up in the middle of the night and attend to
individuals that needed my advice and support at that point in time.

JOSIE TAYLOR: But two years ago, at the pinnacle of the Melbourne killings, George Defteros's way
of life was turned on its head. Released on bail last night, George Defteros came out fighting.

GEORGE DEFTEROS (Footage June 17, 2004): I'm totally innocent of these allegations.

JOSIE TAYLOR: The solicitor's been charged with conspiracies to murder.

GEORGE DEFTEROS: I was arrested at the office. I was in the dock and I was strip searched and I was
put through the process and I was humiliated.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Police claim the arrest of Defteros and his client Mario Condello is a win against
organised crime. Lawyer and client were accused of plotting to kill three gangland identities,
alleged rivals in Melbourne's crime world. The case against George Defteros relied on the word of a
former client: a secret witness codenamed '166'. George Defteros didn't know it, but the career
criminal was secretly taping their conversations and reporting his every move back to police. The
Defteros' say Victoria police leapt on the informer's explosive evidence.

GEORGE DEFTEROS: Allegations raised by an experienced, manipulative and cunning criminal and he was
able to hoodwink the police. People are under pressure to get results and he knew how to go about
doing that.

PAUL MULLET: Police officers, particularly in these forms of or types of investigations, conduct
themselves with utmost propriety and professionalism. They always have to base their arrests with
offenders on reasonable grounds.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Witness 166 received up to $1 million for his evidence, indemnities for his own
crimes, and the promise of relocation. Sandy Defteros says her husband's client and his de facto
wife preyed on her family for their own benefit, targeting its most vulnerable member - her
9-year-old son.

SANDY DEFTEROS: And they tape recorded us in our own home...our children. And this I find just
disgusting and despicable.

JOSIE TAYLOR: A magistrate sent George Defteros for trial in the Victorian Supreme Court, but
before the trial took place, prosecutors dropped the case against him, citing insufficient
evidence. The Defteros's say that decision comes too late. How have you seen your husband change
since the charges were laid?

SANDY DEFTEROS: George was like a broken man. He was just a shadow of himself and I was extremely
worried. Um, and, um, sorry... I was worried about his personal safety, not just from threats. But
he was so low and depressed that he had mentioned on several occasions that he was feeling very,
very low and that made me very concerned.

GEORGE DEFTEROS: Yes, I'm seeing a psychiatrist and I'm under medication and I see him every week
and he has been an enormous assistance.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Today this is how Defteros's live - in fear for their lives. What's this?

GEORGE DEFTEROS: This is just one aspect of the security that we have installed and shows different
entry points and exit points of the home.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Does it make you feel safer, having this?

GEORGE DEFTEROS: Well it's a necessity, unfortunately. It's something that we've had to endure and
live with.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Security at the Defteros's house is a serious business. In February, George
Defteros's former client and co-accused Mario Condello, was gunned down outside his own home. Sandy
Defteros now checks under her car for bombs.

SANDY DEFTEROS: We've had messages left on phones, threats from various individuals, and just
constantly being aware of one's surroundings and aware of where you are, who you're with, um...just
being constantly aware of one's safety and the children's safety.

JOSIE TAYLOR: They've hired personal security guards and about $45,000 has been spent turning the
Defteros's home into a virtual fortress. Cameras record comings and goings every second of every
day. The tight security has the full support of police, who are anxious to prevent anymore
underworld killings. Victoria police refused to be interviewed for this story, but they've warned
George Defteros he could be the next target.

GEORGE DEFTEROS: I don't believe that to be the case, because I have no involvement in gangland
activities whatsoever. I don't wish to be thought about as someone that is a player in the
underworld war, because I'm not.

PAUL MULLET: It's an occupational hazard with lawyers, but the strong advice to Mr Defteros would
be to stay away, totally stay away from underworld figures in, other than the circumstances of
professional lawyer-defendant-client situation.

JOSIE TAYLOR: George Defteros starts his 50th birthday with a regular personal training session.
Two years since he last practiced law, the former solicitor is thinking of making a comeback. The
Law Institute of Victoria says it will consider his application.

JOHN CAIN, LAW INSTITUTE OF VICTORIA: I think the important thing to remember is that there is a
difference between being charged with a criminal offence and convicted of an offence. If a person
is charged, alone that does not of itself mean that they are ineligible to practice law in

JOSIE TAYLOR: After prosecutors dropped the charges against George Defteros, Chief Commissioner
Christine Nixon pointedly said it was not a decision made by police, and that the case could be
reinstated if further evidence came to light. Did you enjoy representing some of Melbourne's
best-known criminals?

GEORGE DEFTEROS: Ah, look, I enjoyed the challenges, I enjoyed the notoriety, I suppose, to a
certain extent, I enjoyed being looked upon as someone that was good at their task. I did enjoy
the, the, the...I suppose, acting in the high echelons of sophisticated criminal clients. Cause
that's what a lot of them were.

JOSIE TAYLOR: You say you didn't cross the line, but did the line between client and lawyer, did
that ever get blurred?

GEORGE DEFTEROS: There's a perception that it might get blurred. In my view, it did not get
blurred. And in my dealings with people, of course, you're going to have friendships develop over
many, many years.

DARREN PALMER: I don't think it's a normal professional hazard. I think these are perhaps unusual
circumstances and obviously any lawyer who's working in this kind of area would need to ensure that
they're protecting themselves against various possibilities. There is a danger in terms of working
with serious offenders. But again, I'd go back to the fundamental principles that everyone is
entitled to legal representation, including people charged with the most serious types of offences.

JOSIE TAYLOR: Over the past two years, George Defteros has had plenty of time to consider those

GEORGE DEFTEROS: The fact that my family was placed under threat, the fact that our position has
been denigrated to a certain extent, I suppose it is my fault.

JOSIE TAYLOR: If George Defteros gets another chance, things will be different.

GEORGE DEFTEROS: I would keep certain people at arm's length, and certain people I wouldn't act for
at all.

(c) 2006 ABC | Privacy Policy

The quest for the perfect guitar

Broadcast: 01/05/2006

The quest for the perfect guitar

Reporter: Mick Bunworth

KERRY O'BRIEN: In half a century of rock music, with guitars front and centre for any act, the big
American brand names of Fender and Gibson have dominated. But a modest Australian company, founded
just after the Second World War by a cabinet maker/musician turned woodwork teacher has managed to
win over some of the world's biggest names. Maton Guitars is celebrating its 60th birthday this
year, and the list of those who've used Matons over the decades includes Beatle George Harrison,
Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, and Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty. The late Bill May,
working out of his humble suburban garage in Melbourne, set out to make his perfect Maton guitar
and that quest continues today with his daughter at the helm. Mick Bunworth reports.

AMATEUR VIDEO (Recorded 1971)

INTERVIEWER: When did you make that one?

BILL MAY, FOUNDER, MATON GUITARS: Oh dear, this was made in around about 19, early 1930s. I'd
probably be around about 17 at the time.

INTERVIEWER: That was your first guitar, was it?

BILL MATON: Well, it was a first reasonable guitar.

MICK BUNWORTH: That "reasonable guitar" was the first of many to take shape in Bill May's suburban
Melbourne garage in the years immediately following the Second World War.

LINDA KITCHEN, DIRECTOR, MATON GUITARS: Dad being a full-time teacher in those days, to have a job
was a pretty good thing - especially in the Education Department - and to give it all up to
manufacture guitars, people thought that was a bit of a joke. Wood was his passion, working with
wood. When he finished school, he did a cabinet making apprenticeship and he did an honours course
in art and design - so, he loved working with wood and he loved playing guitar.

BILL MATON: When I set Maton up, I had a very ambitious mind - was to make guitars that was as good
as anywhere in the world, which was laughable, then, by anybody in Australia.

LINDA KITCHEN: In his day, to be an Australian product wasn't really cool, you know. He used other
terms for Australian wood, because it was unacceptable, you know.

MICK BUNWORTH: Bill May's daughter, Linda Kitchen, who now runs Maton with her husband, says her
father managed to silence the naysayers once musicians like the Beatles' George Harrison were
photographed playing his guitars. Artists who continue to use Maton guitars include everyone from
Neil Finn, Neil Diamond and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page to arguably Australia's biggest entertainment
export, The Wiggles. Maton also has a healthy relationship with the guitar stars of tomorrow, like
the company's latest signing, Kieran Murphy. Maton's custom shop, Luthier, Andy Allen reckons he
has the best job in the world. Discerning guitarists prepared to spend anywhere between $5,000 and
$12,000 are his clientele, and he's currently making three guitars for Neil Fogarty of Creedance
Clearwater Revival fame.

ANDY ALLEN, LUTHIER: You've got a picture in your head of what the guitar is going to sound like
and then to hear it at the end, and see whether, you know, you were heading in the right direction
or not - you know, I mean, nothing beats that.

MICK BUNWORTH: Do you ever get there and it doesn't sound like you imagined?

ANDY ALLEN: Um, sometimes they can sound different. I've done some things where I thought maybe I
was heading in a direction, and then you realise there's a whole different sound coming out of
that. But it may become a sound that somebody's looking for in the future. And I'll go, "Well, I
know how to get that sound, you know, I accidentally stumbled across it one day," you know.

MICK BUNWORTH: But the distinctive Maton sound is due in no small part to Bill May's pioneering
spirit. Chris Finch joined Maton in 1966 and served a long apprenticeship to the master.

CHRIS FFINCH, LUTHIER: There was this guy fiddling around. I thought he was - I don't know what he
was, he just had hands on all the time. Little short guy, grey dust coat: "Bill." "How ya goin',
Bill." That was it. You know, it was "How ya goin', mate?" And, um, I found out later that that was
actually my boss. I started at the bottom, just glueing up necks, this, that and the other. Now I
can actually make a guitar out of a tree - if you know what I mean - I can literally take it from
the ground upwards.

MICK BUNWORTH: Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the Maton story is Bill May's battle with a
debilitating disease later on in life.

LINDA KITCHEN: He got Parkinson's disease, which was tragic for dad, who worked with his hands. So,
in the later years he was working, it was very difficult for him to actually do what he loved
doing. He died of a heart attack, which I dare say is a blessing, because he was just losing the
capacity, you know, to move. It was terrible.

MICK BUNWORTH: But there's no doubt Bill May left a resonating legacy, one that will be heard in
the bedrooms, pubs and concert halls of the world for many decades to come.

LINDA KITCHEN: He was driven to manufacture a guitar that was as good as any others in the world.
And I think he would have achieved the dream and the goal that he set out on all those years ago.

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