The Mayor of the West Tamar Council, Barry Easther, says council will consider building a memorial to journalist Richard Carleton in Beaconsfield. Carleton collapsed and died at a press conference yesterday afternoon shortly after grilling mine manager Matthew Gill.

Easther said that he heard of Carleton’s death while driving to the nearby town of Bridport and would explore the proposal after rescue operations were completed. “It’s something we could put on the list of things to talk about when it settles down a bit.”

Carleton was in the process of filing a story for 60 Minutes examining mine safety issues. Rumour was rife in Beaconsfield that Channel Nine was in negotiations to buy the miners’ story, with Carleton and 60 Minutes heading the coverage. Other media outlets had also alleged that Channel Nine offered a mine rescue worker $10,000 to take a concealed digital camera down the mine.

In an ironic twist the controversial journalist’s death has temporarily calmed relations between the media and some locals after a News Ltd photojournalist was spat on while working on Saturday. Tensions between the two groups had been steadily building during the past few days, with one media outlet’s car having its personalised number plates torn off and threats of physical violence towards others.

In addition to a large media contingent Beaconsfield has also seen an influx of tourists keen to see the mine site and the assembled media.

Peter Fray

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