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Companies unite to ensure longevity

Wednesday, 3rd December, 2008

As many companies are being forced to reduce their workforce in response to Perilya's recent "restructure", others are seeking work outside the city to secure their longevity.

Nejaim Steel Supplies owner, Scott Campbell, said Alliance Engineering - comprising his business, Lawrence Engineering and Top Gear Engineering - have an agreement to get work from out of town.

Sharing the work means more manpower to tackle larger jobs and generates work for other businesses, such as transport companies. 

"It works surprisingly well," Mr Campbell said.

The group also shares three apprentices who rotate between the different businesses every three months.

"That's good for the apprentices - they get a lot of different experience," Mr Campbell said.

"I think it's very important giving our young people at least a start. We feel like we need to do our bit for the community."

When the BDT visited Nejaim Steel's workshop in Iodide Street last week, the staff, including apprentices, were piecing together rarely seen induction bends which were fabricated in Melbourne.

The bends are being prepared for Outotec, which is working on a large extension of the milling process at a mine in Mt Isa, more than 2,000 kilometres away.

The business won the work after helping Outotec with a project on the local mine last year."The work has been very different to what we would normally see in Broken Hill which has given the tradesmen on the project an opportunity to expand their skills and experience," Mr Campbell said.

The project has been a joint venture between his business and Peter Toohey of Stickweld.Other local companies that have been involved with the project have been Lawrence Engineering, Fillery Antiwear and Grenfell Fabrication, as well as Attard's Transport and Gobell's Transport.

Mr Campbell said that the local contribution had been a coup for the entire community."Without all this local support and cooperation, we may not have been able to undertake this project," he said.

"We are thrilled Outotec has given us this opportunity and see it as a vote of confidence in what we can do here in Broken Hill."

Mr Campbell said he hoped that more work from out of town companies would result as businesses feel the effects of the downturn in the local mining industry.

"We hope this will form a solid working relationship for future opportunities."

The contract with Outotec has resulted in six months' work and Mr Campbell said that the company was seeking other work to keep them viable.

"We've also got our finger in the pie with a few other jobs around the place and we do lots of local work as well.

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