Condon back home to Ballarat after Dubai experience

Australian Michael Condon - who led the pioneering transition of Dubai's Gulf News to waterless production - has retired to his home in Ballarat.

The former Rural Press (Fairfax Media, now Nine) print site manager was recruited to lead the 'waterless in the desert' switch in 2012.

Back in Ballarat this week, he thanked GXpress for keeping him in touch. "I looked forward to every edition, keeping me up to date with all the news at home," he says.

KBA's Cortina presses and a Ferag mailroom were key to a delayed installation which had already been decided when Condon arrived. New editorial systems and a switch to a compact Berliner formal were also part of the "no going back" change. Printing and dispatch from the old site finished at 3.30 am on May 31, and had to start at the new site at 9 am that day.

On a run home in 2016, he spoke at Australia's Single Width Users Group, he spoke of the installation and its waterless technology - "a whole new way of thinking" despite its reduced print window - which he said was was "well worth it" for improved quality.

He has recently overseen another upgrade at Gulf News - this time the addition of QI Press Controls automation on a nine-tower manroland Cromoman press.

On the lifestyle, he said Vegemite and Aussie beer were not a problem, but family "the biggest sacrifice".

Pictured: Mike Condon with wife Tracie in the Dubai days; he was previously shift supervisor at the Canberra Times.

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