Chapter Six

As usual, Transfield adopted imaginative work practices. Antonio Lupacchini, then a senior construction executive, remembers that "the Americans showed us how to build an oil platform (and smoke big cigars)...and we showed them how the whole exercise could be improved".

Transfield's workforce was billeted in the company hostel at nearby Welshpool. Conditions on site were harsh and windy. One of the workers recounted that "at Barry Beach it rained horizontally, 80 per cent of the time". Once, Belgiorno-Nettis, on visit to the site, quipped to a complaining unionist: "If you don't like the weather, you can just wait ten minutes and it will change". Industrial disputes affected production in Victoria as well. One leading hand admitted that "you got a strike if all the steaks didn't measure the same length".



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1996. The smaller oil rig being towed out of Port Kembla port.