'Sense of community' in Nyrstar dealings: Trader

The prayers of business people have been answered with an expected bonanza of contracts for services and equipment from the smelter.

Tens of millions of dollars extra is likely to be spent by Nyrstar as it revises its local procurement strategy.

The scheme was outlined by the company at a breakfast attended by about 140 at the Function Centre at Memorial Oval.

In the audience was Mensland and MES Streetwear proprietor Justin Turci who was the first businessman to register for procurement on the day after the breakfast.

He sees opportunities for the supply of clothes such as shirts and socks and personal protective equipment.

"I have not seen the tender yet so I don't know exactly what they need ... it just depends on how specialised it is, but I am sure we could source it through the suppliers that we deal with," he said.

"I am looking forward to at least quoting for it.

"Even if we don't win anything, a lot more money will stay in town.

"If it is not my business, it will be someone else's and that money will flow back through the town.

"If they are spending millions of dollars here that they were not spending before, that is creating jobs."

Flinders Hydraulics and Mechanical has also registered for procurement contracts.

Owner Damien Freer said "there could be a sense of community coming back" in the smelter's dealings with the town.

"We have dealt with Nyrstar for more than 15 years and finally we have got a guy who is community-minded," he said, referring to new smelter chief Nic Clift.

"Nic has been exceptional so far. He is certainly making a good impression and saying all the right things.

"It seems like it is going to be great for the town. It is more confident than ever.

"Their social-economic responsibility and their community responsibility are at the forefront of what they are doing.

"It is not about Nyrstar's financial bottom line first. It is is about the community."

The firm's manager, Tim Byerlee, said the company already had a hydraulic and pneumatic contract for the site, but hoped to pick up more work including mechanical aspects.

He saw scope for other businesses to benefit from the procurement arrangements. "Even the businesses not involved in it will see a big turnaround, I would imagine," he said.

The smelter's regional procurement manager, Marthinus le Roux, encouraged traders to register for tenders. He expected a "second wave" of tenders to be launched in the next month or two and hoped interest from businesses would "snowball".

"We want to create a groundswell to stimulate the local economy for opportunities that may not even be linked to a contract at Nystar," he said.

Asked why the company was boosting its local tenders, he said: "It is part of our social licence to operate. We want to be a good citizen in this community."

Comments