Single-width and song in country music’s ‘capital’

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After a conference programme full of fact-packed presentations, Australia’s Single Width Users Group rounded off its first day with celebrations and – appropriately for its Tamworth, NSW, location – country music.

Host newspaper site, Fairfax Media’s Northern Daily Leader Print Centre provided SWUG delegates with the opportunity to view the new greenfield press site over drinks, supper and music, in the town which likes to call itself the ‘country music capital’. Award-winning singer songwriter Katrina Burgoyne provided the music… and the (few) words came from president Bob Lockley.

Among formalities was a presentation to printer Hol Smith – who has notched up 50 years’ service with local daily the ‘Northern Daily Leader’ – and the announcement that Dave Hedges has been appointed manager of the new print centre. He will move to Tamworth from Fairfax Regional Printers’ Beresfield, NSW, site.

Some 220 user and supplier delegates are in town for the conference, SWUG’s twenty-fourth and the nineteenth under Lockley’s presidency.

Highlights of a varied programme were detailed addresses from David Zagami of Bairnsdale’s James Yeates Printing on their introduction of UV-cured printing, and from Collie Trust-sponsored international speaker Wim Maes of Belgium’s Persgroep Eco Print Centre on their experiences of waterless newspaper printing. The first day also included:

• updates on press installations in the region from Lockley and Goss International’s Peter Kirwan, water filtration (Steve Terry), processorless plates (Sunraysia Daily’s Rob Donaldson);

• details from Glen StLeon of how Fairfax has automated image processing to save the equivalent of 3654 hours a week;

• background on Kodak’s reinvention of itself as a digital company from Rob Mollee;

• the views of last year’s three scholarship-winning apprentices on the tour of print sites in Victoria, NSW and Queensland which was part of their prize; and

• news from PNEB executive director Lilias Bovell and Norske Skog’s Greg Barrett covering sustainability issues including the paper maker’s elimination of eucalypt pulp.

The conference continues tomorrow (Sunday) with an overview of US trends from Chuck Ramsay, offline folding from Andy Stephens, and an update on occupational health and safety issues… plus motivational speaker Malcolm McLeod.

SWUG’s Goss-sponsored gala dinner at Tamworth Town Hall on Sunday night includes presentations of the association’s technical awards and the naming of this year’s top apprentice. • Lockley is pictured (centre) with Hol Smith and country singer Katrina Burgoyne
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