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Date: Melbourne and London, 06 December 2001

BHP Billiton celebrated its second annual Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC) Awards in Melbourne, Australia last night.

The awards are open to BHP Billiton's 110,000 employees and contractors worldwide, and recognise those who go beyond what is required in their day-to-day jobs to care for fellow employees, the community and the environment.

The awards were judged in three categories - Health and Safety, Community and Environment by a panel comprising representatives from BHP Billiton and non-government, government and academic sectors.

PT Gag Nickel's Community Relations Manager Helena Russell won the Community Category for her work in initiating and supporting a range of community development initiatives on Gag Island, including education, health and income-generating programs.

Melbourne-based BHP Billiton Finance Manager Anthony Quin was also announced as a winner in the Community Category for his work in co-founding the St Joseph's South Yarra Emergency Housing Association. The Association's mission is to provide low-cost accommodation for homeless people and for those who are on the waiting list for public housing.

BHP Steel Asset Engineer Wendy Hird won the Environment Category for her work in initiating the biggest industrial water re-use scheme in Australia. Wendy was instrumental in establishing a landmark agreement between BHP Steel and Sydney Water, which will more than halve the usage of fresh water at the Port Kembla Steelworks and also reduce Wollongong's total water consumption by up to 24 per cent.

Crinum Mine's Safety Coordinator Mark McCamley and Contracts/Projects Coordinator Keith McQualter won the Health and Safety Category for their work in designing remote-control fire doors and a deluge system for use in an underground coal mine. Their innovation enables a fire to be contained and extinguished from remote locations, both underground and on the surface.The winners in each category were presented with a cheque for US$5,000, which will be donated to a charity or community organisation of their choice.

A number of Highly-Commended and Finalist awards were also presented on the night. Further details about all the projects are available in our online HSEC Report. You can also contact Helen Lomen on (61 3) 9609 3596 for more information.

BHP Billiton Vice President Sustainable Development Ian Wood said the response to this year's awards had been outstanding, with entries received from all over the world, including Australia, North America, South America, Africa, Indonesia, China and Pakistan.

To cap off the night of celebrations, BHP Billiton launched its 2001 Health, Safety, Environment and Community Report and The People's Voice website at the awards ceremony.

The report details the group's HSEC policy, standards and systems, HSEC targets and includes a summary of BHP Billiton's HSEC performance for 2001. It also contains a summary of the HSEC Award winners' various projects.

The People's Voice website is part of the Centenary of Federation celebrations and is sponsored by BHP Billiton.

The project brings together the histories and achievements of the towns and cities across Australia over the past 100 years.

Its purpose is to give towns and cities, large and small, the opportunity to say what they were doing at the time of Federation, how they have contributed to the life of the nation since then, and what they are like now.

More than 100 Australian communities, some of which have been centres of mining activity, have used The People's Voice website as a forum to tell the rest of Australia about themselves using photographs, text, recorded sound and moving images.

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