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Mt Beauty water ‘rock star’ calls it a day

2 August 2021

One of the longest serving members of North East Water’s operations team has retired after more than four decades looking after Mt Beauty’s water and sewer systems.

Richie Kreuzer began his career as an operator in 1980 at a time when the water supply was run by a small authority which eventually became North East Water.

Managing Director, Craig Heiner said Richie’s retirement is the end of an era for both the Corporation as well as the local community.

“His service to Mt Beauty has been outstanding for 40 years with an absolute dedication to the town’s water and sewer systems”, said Mr Heiner.

“He was instrumental in upgrading the local sewage treatment plant in 2004 and helped to manage significant changes to the town’s water treatment plant in 2008.”

Mr Kreuzer said he has seen remarkable change in his time at North East Water. 

“When I started, we had a diversity of roles – not only were we water and sewer operators, but also cleaners and accountants and cashiers”, Mr Kreuzer said.

“I’ve seen mergers, huge changes to health regulations and massive improvements in technology over the past four decades.

“My proudest achievement is the town’s new sewage treatment plant, where in the early days it didn’t meet odour regulations.

“It’s now a jewel in the crown of North East Water’s treatment plants and the town has never had a major odour issue since.

“I will really miss going to the North East Water depot every day and working with a great team, but I intend to spend more time volunteering, and then following the pandemic, travel overseas.”

Mr Heiner added, “When I began my career at the Kiewa Valley Water Authority, Richie was one of the first people to welcome me on my first day and he’s been a great mate ever since.”

“Richie is an extraordinary fellow who has an incredible love of his town – he’s a man who would put his life on-hold to help at the footy club, community radio station or local op shop.

“Everyone in the Corporation will miss his professionalism, his expertise, his selflessness and his amazing stories, which are of course all true.

“He’s now handed the reigns over to fellow Mt Beauty local and protégé Ethan Stripeikis who I’m sure will do an equally great job.”