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Powering into new opportunities

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Powering into new opportunities

Since the Hazelwood power station closed, three former power industry workers have transferred their skills and experience across to another essential services industry: water.

Chris Stockdale, Alan Parker and Paul McLure are now full-time employees at their local state-owned water corporation, Gippsland Water.

Power industry veteran, computer engineer and amateur astronomer Chris Stockdale is the most recent recruit. Now Senior IT Systems Engineer for Gippsland Water, Chris will take care of the servers and network infrastructure behind Gippsland Water’s Information Technology systems.

“For me, the timing of my move from Hazelwood to Gippsland Water was perfect. While my new role is very similar to my old role at Hazelwood, there’s still plenty to learn about the various computer systems. The Gippsland Water IT team is very supportive and they have made me feel very welcome,” he said.

Alan Parker worked at Hazelwood for 11 years before taking up the position of Governance Leader at Gippsland Water in February. For Alan, joining Gippsland Water was an opportunity to continue his career without having to move away from Gippsland.

“It was a relief to secure a position at Gippsland Water after the uncertainty at Hazelwood. Gippsland Water is a great place to work,” he said.

Son of long-time Hazelwood employee Bruce McLure, and former Hazelwood Unit Attendant Paul McLure has just clocked up 12 months as an operator at the Warragul wastewater treatment plant. He says he was lucky to land the Gippsland Water job when he did, so that he didn’t have to spend time out of work.

“I actually worked for Gippsland Water a few years ago and left in 2013 to take up a job with ENGIE. It’s been great coming back to Gippsland Water, so many friendly faces have welcomed me back and I’m able to continue working in an industry and job that I get a lot of satisfaction from,” he said.

Managing Director of Gippsland Water Sarah Cumming said that the organisation was proud to be part of the local community.

“With over 280 people working at locations from Drouin to Dutson Downs, we’re one of the region’s major employers. We support local businesses and contractors wherever possible, and we’re investing in the future of our young people by offering traineeships and other programs,” she said.

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Gippsland Water supplies fresh clean drinking water to more than 70,000 customers, and wastewater services to more than 63,000 customers across an area of more than 5,000 square kilometres. It maintains a $1 billion infrastructure network, which includes more than 2,000 kilometres of water mains, 15 water treatment plants, over 1,700 kilometres of sewer mains and 14 wastewater treatment plants.

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