Tuesday, 21 September 2021                      HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY                   Page 7210/7211

The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (15:57): Today, I would like to talk about the recent Nyrstar long service awards. I want to talk about the recent Nyrstar Port Pirie Smelter Award presentations I had the great privilege to attend on 27 August both as the local member and also as a previous long-serving employee of the plant.

The night was carried out under the very strict and relevant COVID-19 criteria and it was very well attended. Dale Webb, the vice-president of the Australian operations was attending, as were other managers of the plant. During the night, several employees received their 10-year service award, as well as employers receiving their 25 years service and safety awards.

One of the great attributes of the history of the Port Pirie smelter has been the number of very long-serving personnel working at the plant. On the night, 18 recipients received their 10-year award, two recipients received 25-year service and safety awards, plus 13 employees received their 40-year service awards.

With just those few receiving their long service awards on this particular occasion, it totalled in excess of 750 years’ service to the plant. Each of the recipients was interviewed by their line manager or superintendent, and every one of them acknowledged not only their great appreciation for what the organisation had done for them individually and personally as workers but also very importantly what the organisation and the company has provided to Port Pirie and the surrounding regions over many years.

Everyone acknowledged the past operations that have been carried out across the various owners of the plant over many years and, very importantly, the nature of the safety commitment of not only the company but also, very importantly, the safety attitude of all the workmates across the whole site. They all acknowledged the history of the plant but also the new direction that Nyrstar is taking with regard to the plant transformation and the great work that is being carried out with regard to environmental improvements. We have to work very closely with the Environmental Health Centre and with the organisation TLAP, which is funded by Nyrstar, with $3½ million a year for 10 years for lead abatement outside the works.

Over the many years, there have been many long service workers who have travelled their employment over the years across this plant. At several times previously, there were three or four generations working across the site at the same time. One family I will mention is the Scarman family, who still have some newer generations working at the site. Several employees at various times have served in excess of 50 years at the site. As mentioned previously, the loyalty of the workers over many years is a testament not only to the commitment the various companies have given to the plant and the economic survival of our community but also to the way the various companies have treated their employees over the years.

I have attended many long service leave awards over the years, but this award presentation took a different approach to the way that each recipient was acknowledged: it was far more personal. It is not an easy task to arrange these sorts of presentations under the current situation, with the COVID restrictions. However, even under the very strict conditions, the night was a great success. I sincerely thank everyone who was there and the people who organised the night.

At the closing section, long-time employee Andrew ‘Pinky’ Davidson gave an overview of the practices that were in place many years ago, and this certainly brought memories back of my days at the works and my connections to the workplace from when I started there in 1978. Some of those receiving the 40-year awards were apprentices when I was working in the engineering department, so that is how far it goes back.

The 40-year awards went to Mick Bowering, Mark Cousins, Andrew ‘Pinky’ Davidson, Frank Dite, Graeme Eberhard, Ian Leske, Brenton Loizeau, Christopher Norton, Craig Richardson, Terry Smale, Brian Smith, John Stapley and Steven Willis. The 25 years and safety awards went to Jack Mieglich and Andrew Phillis. The 10-year awards went to Craig Aitchinson, Wayne Barnett, Matt Bessen, Tate Bradley, Michael Brill, Daniel Chivell, Billy Crouwkamp, Shaun Edwards (not from the Liberal Party), Ben Ervin, Ben Fenk-Gould, Andrew Gill, Ben Hammer, Mark Larcombe, David Nguyen, Adam Piper, Shane Scarman, Nick Tattoli and Darren Witty. That shows there is also a Scarman there, as I mentioned earlier.

Over many, many years the people there have shown dedication and commitment, and the plant itself and its companies have certainly looked after their employees over many years and been a very great economic driver for not just Port Pirie but the whole of South Australia and Australia.