Video: From early childhood to working in red mud

KYLIE Parkhill is "one of the best mud farmers" at the red mud dam, according to her managers.

It's a far cry from her previous career in early childhood, but she enjoys being in the scroller - one of two mud farming machines engineered by McCosker Contracting.

She and her husband Bob work for McCosker at Queensland Alumina Ltd's Boyne Island Residual Disposal Area, also known as the red mud dam.

She spends up to nine hours a day driving up and down the disposal area to push all the water out of the mud.

"If you work it too much it will overwork and turn into soil," she said.

"You have to be spacing the machine out, pushing the water out. There's a pattern."

Kylie Parkill drives one of two mud farming machines engineered by McCosker Contracting, working at QAL's red mud dam.
Kylie Parkill drives one of two mud farming machines engineered by McCosker Contracting, working at QAL's red mud dam. PAUL BRAVEN

She said driving the machine back and forth required attention, but there was a lot to keep her mind busy.

"There's heaps of birdlife, foxes and kangaroos," she said.

"The helicopters come to clean the (communication) towers and the workers hang out on the poles."

Until recently she was the only female there and was the first person to drive the scroller.

She said it was a great job, which followed a stint of underground mining down south.

"If this breaks down I'll still get on a truck or a loader."

Topics:  gladstone industry qal red mud dam

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