Bedford unveils timber upgrade

Bedford unveils timber upgrade

Bedford formally launched its new state of the art equipment at its timber manufacturing facility in Mount Gambier on Thursday as part of a $7m investment in the region.

The upgrades are set to double production capacity, drive greater efficiencies and broaden timber processing services at its timber manufacturing facility.

The opening event was attended by the Mount Gambier community, industry partners and Bedford employees.

There were speeches by Bedford chief executive officer Myron Mann and chair Richard Hockney as well as thoughts from employees Coby Dennert and Gordon “Gordo” Lee.

“I am happy with the people I work with, they treat me with respect, they are always asking me if I am okay and they will give me pats on the back and I really like it. I think that’s what every workplace should be like,” Mr Dennert said.

A ribbon was cut to officially commemorate the new upgrades by Bedford employees including Mr Dennert and Mr Lee.

Mr Mann said the investments would provide a variety of additional jobs to people with disabilities.

“Bedford will be 80 years old next year and so a lot of the facilities are tired and worn and need updating and Mount Gambier was no different,” he said.

“One of the things we wanted to create was an opportunity for people to actually earn much higher wages.

“People with disabilities are generally on a supportive wage which is a Fair Work Commission award so they do not have a lot of opportunity to move through but we are going to have jobs where people can earn a full award wage and to do that we have to automate some of the processes so that productivity does not get lost.

“People come into disability employment and often do not have a pathway out or a pathway through to higher employment or whatever they aspire to. One of the things we are trying to do is create this pathway for people.

“Success for us is when someone gets a job out in mainstream open employment.

“One of the reasons (for the upgrades) is there has been so much investment here by Timberlink and OneFortyOne and their processing and their volumes have gone way up and so we take all their waste and process their waste into products so we have to be able to keep up with that as well.

“The new learning experience hub offers people who might not be job ready yet to come in and learn some skills and then be able to move into the workplace.”

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