News

Mill shut down as mark of respect

THE Proserpine sugar mill was shut down for 24 hours earlier this week as a mark of respect to employee John Erikson.
THE Proserpine sugar mill was shut down for 24 hours earlier this week as a mark of respect to employee John Erikson.

THE Proserpine sugar mill was shut down for 24 hours earlier this week as a mark of respect to employee John Erikson who died as a result of injuries sustained on site on Sunday morning.

The 46-year-old plant operator had worked at the mill for four years and received multiple injuries after he was struck by empty cane bins leaving the tippler at about 10am.

Mr Erikson arrived in the Whitsundays in June 2001. He was living the dream with his new custom Harley and his Buell motorbike.

He loved the water, boats and fishing and he was looking forward to getting his new big boat.

He had a passion for electrical work and driving and operating machinery and he loved working at the mill as well as driving taxis and working as a security officer.

On his days off, he liked to go for a ride on his Harley and watching movies.

His partner Rj Addison and step-daughter Taila Gregson (who he always introduced as his daughter) described him as a man with a heart of gold who was caring and funny.

"He touched the hearts of others through humour, a bit of stirring and lots of love," Taila said.

"We were a close family and every moment of our lives together was full of laughter, happiness and love," she said.

Rj said John loved having a laugh with his mates and valued their friendship.

"He had so much pride, love and joy for his friends and family."

After Sunday's accident, Mr Erikson was transported to the Mackay Base Hospital for treatment but he died that afternoon.

Operations were temporarily suspended immediately after the incident, but resumed a few hours later after police had assessed and cleared the scene in consultation with the Workplace Health and Safety Division.

Sucrogen's cane products executive general manager Craig Doyle said upon news of Mr Erikson's passing, plans were put in place to safely shut the factory down for 24 hours from 9am on Monday.

"As soon as we had made that decision we stopped the growers from harvesting so we could shut down for the day," he said.

Mr Doyle said investigations were conducted on site, involving police, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland representatives and internal personnel. "From the initial investigations it appears there's been no failure of equipment," he said.

Mr Doyle said Sucrogen would continue to support Mr Erikson's family and workmates during this difficult time.

"We're deeply saddened and offer condolences to the family, whom we're supporting and we'll be working through with the site staff and employees to ensure everyone remains safe. Obviously we're keeping a very, very close eye on the people who witnessed the event and his close workmates and friends," he said. "We're making sure we support them and that they've got access to counselling and anything else they need to get them through."

The 2012 cane harvesting season is expected to be finalised early next week, with less than 80,000 tonnes of cane left to harvest across the Proserpine district.

Mr Erikson's funeral will be held at the Metropole Hotel in Prosepine tomorrow (Friday) November 16 at 4pm.

Topics:  proserpine sugar mill sugar mill


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Bite into Aussie Day feast

AUSSIE DAY FEAST: Executive chef from Fish D'vine Hanzel Martinez, Fish D'vine's Kev Collins, Ken Hooper head chef at Capers, Cr Jan Clifford and head chef from Mangrove Jacks Brad Martin prepare for the Great Australian Bites food festival coming this Australia Day.

It will be foodie heaven in Airlie Beach this Australia Day.

Prime spot ready for next stage

STUNNING: The view from Airlie Summit.

Airlie Summit is on the move.

TAFE option offers alternate uni path

RIGHT PATH: TAFE Queensland North Whitsundays student Tanika Nightingale will soon graduate.

Local TAFE student is excited about her future.

Local Partners

'Daylight saving over my dead body': Costigan

Jason Costigan said he would push for the state of North Queensland if daylight savings went ahead.

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

The surprising problem police face at Woodford Folk Festival

STREET SCENE: Woodford Folk Festival 2016.

The biggest issue for police at Woodfordia is not what you'd expect

Woodford Folk Festival on track to smash records

Monsieur Camembert performs at Woodford Folk Festival.

Great artists, perfect weather the perfect recipe for Woodford

50 Shades actress on why she hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

Hilarious flick to cap off holidays

GOING NUTS: 360 on Flagstaff Cafe at Bowen is holding an outdoor movie night on January 21.

Catch the movie sending kids 'nuts'

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Prime spot ready for next stage

STUNNING: The view from Airlie Summit.

Airlie Summit is on the move.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

What a year 2016 proved to be

Entrance Island, Birtinya

Get the inside info from the agents themselves

REVEALED: What Coast wants in an international airport

Sunshine Coast business people share their views on what's needed

Time for a cool change

43 Eckersley Ave, Buderim.

Family home goes to the auction floor

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!