Tom Doig

New book about the 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire . . .

Penguin Books Australia have pubished my new book, The Coal Face

‘The smoke got thicker and darker and then it seemed to be coming from everywhere, swirling around until it blanketed the entire town . . .’

On 9 February 2014 a fire took hold in Victoria’s Hazelwood coal mine next to Morwell and burned for one and a half months. As the air filled with toxic smoke and ash, residents of the Latrobe Valley became ill, afraid – and angry. Up against an unresponsive corporation and an indifferent government, the community banded together, turning tragedy into a political fight.

Tom Doig reveals the decades of decisions that led to the fire, and gives an intimate account of the first moments of the blaze and the dark weeks that followed.The Coal Face is a gripping and immediate report of one of the worst environmental and public health disasters in Australian history. 



"a very moving book ... coal miners and their families around the world need better options urgently" (Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC)

“a compelling read … a great read” (Marie McInerney, Croakey)

"an important element in the climate change debate that's usually too boring and too tedious to think about" (Mark Kramer, co-editor of Literary Journalism: A New Collection of the Best American Nonfiction and Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide)

“a terrific evening’s reading” (Kevin Jones, Safety At Work Blog)

“a great read” (Marni Cordell, Crikey editor)

“an excellent read” (David Hayward, RMIT Lecturer)

“a very interesting and confronting read” (Elaine, Goodreads)

“a well researched and readable account” (Suered, Amazon)

"Tom's writing style is a pleasure ... understated but compelling prose" (Sandy, Goodreads)

“I thought this would have been boring but I was pleasantly surprised ... a great, quick read” (Lisa, Goodreads)


MEDIA: "Push to Fire Up Coal Mine Inquiry" - The Age 

When Tom Doig visited Morwell for the first time, thick grey ash was falling out of the sky, there was an awful smell of smoke in the air, and authorities were handing out face masks.
"I had this overwhelming impression of being in an undeclared disaster zone," he said ... 

MEDIA: "Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry hears health concerns" - RN Drive 
Tom Doig speaking to Patricia Karvelas about the reopened Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry, 1 September 2015.