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Generations of steelworkers to toast mill’s 60 years

23 December 2022

60 years since the first products came off its production line, InfraBuild’s Newcastle Rod Mill at Mayfield is still providing opportunities for local people to pursue a career in manufacturing and help build the nation’s future.

The mill, which turns 60 on December 24, was commissioned in 1962, replacing the original Rod Mill which had operated on the Mayfield site for 44 years after its opening in August 1918.

Today, the Rod Mill continues to manufacture a range of high-quality steel products, which are used in large-scale nation building infrastructure and the commercial and residential construction industries.

Among those celebrating the mill’s birthday will be father and son steel manufacturers Stephen and Scott Bolch, who are members of a long list of intergenerational workers to have worked at the mill.

Scott, who is a member of the next generation of steel workers focused on building the rod mill business into the future, said the knowledge and experience shared by his colleagues had been of great benefit as he carves his own path in the industry.

“I’m really happy to have got the opportunity and it has been a good experience so far with a lot of good learning and help from workmates,” he said.

“Like Dad, I hope it continues into the future and I can achieve a long career here at the mill.

 “It’s good to be able to work with him and spend a bit more time together.”

His father, Stephen, marks 33 years at the mill in 2022 and is one of those experienced hands who is all too happy to pass on his knowledge to Scott and the younger generations.

“I am so happy Scott has been given the opportunity to pursue a great career in manufacturing within the Hunter region at the Rod Mill,” he said.

“I have worked in the Rod Mill the whole time. It’s a great place to work and has provided me with a good career in manufacturing,” he said.

“I still enjoy coming in everyday and I hope it continues to run for the next 60-70 years.”

Rod Mill Manufacturing Manager Liam Bell said the mill was proud of stories like the Bolch’s, which give a nod to the past but also an insight into the site’s future potential.

“The InfraBuild Newcastle Rod Mill and its employees have a strong and proud history built over the last 60 years,” Mr Bell said.

“Many of our workers are born and raised in the local area and want to stay living locally with their families. The Rod Mill has played a big role in enabling them to do that. “Pleasingly, the future is bright with a mixture of experienced and newer team members working together to continuously improve our processes and products to meet customer needs, so we can continue to help build Australian communities into the next 60 years.”

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