Tyers plant up and running

A FAMILY-owned Latrobe Valley quarry business has welcomed a $100,000 State Government contribution to its recently completed sorting and washing plant.

Robert Matthews, who owns and operates Matthews Quarries with his brother Graeme, said the increased productivity had allowed the business to employ five additional staff members to complement its 29-strong workforce.

Mr Matthews said the government’s funding would go towards paying contractors who built the plant at the quarry in Tyers, which washes and screens aggregate – material used for sealing roads.

He said the funding would also contribute to paying the wages of the new employees, four of whom had been hired.

“We already have a couple of fitters employed, another plant operator, another truck driver and now we’re just looking for the next one and deciding where we are going to place him,” Mr Matthews said.

“Once we get the plant going we’ll understand what we have to do.”

The total cost of the project was $1.6 million, with Matthews Quarries contributing the remaining balance.

In addition to the plant, the project included an electricity upgrade to the site and improved truck access, including an additional hardstand for truck loading.

Mr Matthews said the project helped replace a 15 year-old plant and the new one could now complete three days’ worth of sorting of aggregate in two hours.

Energy and Resources Minister Russell Northe was on site on Friday to announce the funding, which comes from the soon-to-be-exhausted Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund.

“(Matthews Quarries) provides road aggregate, aggregate for some of our road maintenance… road upgrades, but also developments more generally,” Mr Northe said.

“There’s a lot of demand. As a State Government over recent times we’ve made a number of announcements in terms of road upgrades, so that supports what these guys do on the ground.”