CEMENT AUSTRALIA marked a century of pioneering that’s been poured into its Railton site on Tasmania’s North-West.
If the Railton site’s walls could talk, it’d tell you a staggering 58 million tonnes of cement has been produced there across the last 100 years. The site originally went under the name Goliath, before falling under Australia Cement Holdings and finally into the Cement Australia fold in 2003.
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The original kiln at Railton had a production capacity of 25,000 tonnes of cement per year. These days, the site exports about 1.5 million tonnes annually.
As well as tonnes of cement, Cement Australia’s Railton site has fostered tonnes of apprentices. The days of training young aspiring tradies goes back to the site’s Goliath days which produced hundreds of skilled tradespeople. The facility offers electrical, fitting and diesel mechanic apprenticeships.
Working at one of the world’s most highly regarded cement production facilities has many bonuses for apprentices, who get a great understanding of the safety and technical aspects of running such a massive operation. The Railton site annually recognises its best trainee with an apprentice of the year award.
A percentage of apprentices remain on the site, with some marking more than 40 years there.
BUILT TO LAST
One such long-standing worker is Cement Australia Railton Product Manager Garry Bissett. He started working at the Railton site way back in 1980 when he was 16 years old as an apprentice carpenter. Since then, he’s climbed the Cement Australia ladder to hold many key roles in the company.
Working at the site allowed Garry to pursue a Diploma in Business Management, and in 2009 he was made the national Shutdown Manager which had him overseeing the Railton, Kandos, Brisbane and Gladstone Cement Australia sites. From there, he settled into his current role of Product Manager at Railton.
This has Garry overseeing the production of cement and clinker, the grinding of raw materials from the Railton mine, and the transportation of cement to the local markets as well as the mainland. Not bad for a former chippy.