Report highlighting local mill’s success

THIRD GENERATION: Millicent Mill worker Cameron Haggett, with his daughter Madi who has recently started at the mill and father Peter who retired from KCA in 2011. Pictrue: SUPPLIED

A report recently prepared by Synergies Economic Consulting on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Australia (KCA) has been released and provides a snapshot of the socio-economic contribution of the mill to the Australian economy.

The report states the company contributes $520m to Australia’s GDP annually and is one of the state’s largest non-mining base manufacturers.

A highlight of the report is its investment into the local community with an emphasis on jobs being kept local with 12 per cent of full-time manufacturing roles in the Limestone Coast provided by the mill.

The independent report, commissioned by KCA, highlights the annual contribution of the company’s Millicent mill to the regional Limestone Coast and South Australian state economies, generating $172 million and $216 million of value, respectively.

Inclusivity was mentioned in the report and has seen applications from women in production roles at the mill rise from zero in 2019 to approximately 40 per cent of new hires year on year.

Female representation at the Millicent mill has increased five-fold since 2019, from 12 to 60 employees, and the mill directly employs 462 people in full, part-time and casual roles.

Retention rates are strong and over half of the mill’s employees have worked there for 15 years or more with second and third generation family members now employed.

Machine operator Cameron Haggett has worked at Millicent Mill for over 21 years following in the footsteps of his father, Peter, who worked at KCA for 33 years before retiring in 2011.

“I can only ever remember my dad as a shift worker at Kimberly-Clark when growing up, so it’s fair to say the company and Millicent mill have been a big part of my life,” Mr Haggett said

“With new technology on-site and more diversity across the workforce, the mill has changed a great deal since I first started in 2002.

“It’s continued to upskill its employees and be an attractive option for local people, including my daughter Madi, who’s recently started out as a casual worker.

“Working at Kimberly-Clark has given me financial stability to support my family for over two decades, and I really enjoy the team atmosphere that the mill provides too.”

The report stated over $750 million has been invested into the Millicent mill since it was first established in 1966.

Sustainable practices has resulted in the reduction of 457 tonnes of plastic across the entire packaging portfolio in 2022, and 98 per cent of mill waste diverted away from landfill.

A goal to reduce direct emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, against a baseline of 2015, continues and the company is exploring green energy alternatives such as green hydrogen and renewable electricity.

Managing director at Kimberly-Clark ANZ Belinda Driscoll said: “I’m incredibly proud to present this report, which showcases the solid and lasting impact Kimberly-Clark Australia, and its Millicent mill has at a regional, state and national level.

“It demonstrates the business’ commitment to keeping manufacturing jobs and growing the sector.

“As we look ahead, we’ll continue to do all we can to make further improvements that have a positive impact on the economy and local community we serve.”