SPEECH: Bekaert Australia 100 year anniversary

23 March 2023


Newcastle Electorate: Manufacturing

It was an honour to join Bekaert Australia recently to celebrate 100 years of continuous manufacturing excellence at their wire rope manufacturing facility in Mayfield. Originally known as Australia Wire Ropes Works, Bekaert was established in 1923 in Newcastle by what was BHP and four leading rope manufacturers in Great Britain. Bekaert holds a prominent place in Newcastle'sand, I suggest, the nation'smanufacturing history, employing and training thousands of men and women from the Newcastle and Hunter region over its long and distinguished career. It provided jobs during the Great Depression and diverted operations to support Australia's war efforts during World War II. Today Bekaert in Australia is a world leader in the manufacture, supply and technical support of wire and synthetic ropes. I was particularly pleased to see how much time and energy is going into being able to repurpose and renew those wire ropes, ensuring that the life cycle is extended fourfold compared to what it had been previously.

Bekaert is just one of a number of leading manufacturing facilities now in Newcastle to have been operating for more than a century, which speaks volumes about the deep history of making things in our citya tradition that stands to benefit enormously from Labor's $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund. The National Reconstruction Fund investments will help regional areas like Newcastle to diversify our economy and help create secure, well paid jobs. There is a very bright future for manufacturing in Newcastle under a Labor government.

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