Change of the guard

A former power industry, construction and maintenance worker from the 1980s has been elected as the new president of the CFMEU Victorian district mining and energy division.

Trevor Williams has also worked as a trade union activist, shop steward and delegate at many Gippsland sites including the Gippsland Water Factory and the Morwell River Diversion.

This is his first full-time role as a union official at the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, previously involved as an honorary official.

“I have a wide range of experience in the industries of this area and I’ve been a union representative at those sites through my life,” Mr Williams said.

The Traralgon-born resident said the Valley was going through some “big changes”, referencing rumours surrounding power station closures.

“It needs to be handled through a transition and we need to think about what we’re going to do with those people if Hazelwood starts closing down,” Mr Williams said.

“We’re going to have people that are still of working age.

“We’re staring down the barrel of closures, in my opinion.”

He hopes the CFMEU can lobby state and federal governments about new industries and creating jobs or transferring workers between the region’s power stations and mines.

Mr Williams’ election comes after the stepping-down of long-time president Luke van der Meulen.