Councillors "agitate" in reel time

The Hills councillors Tony Hay and Ray Harty are coming to your TVs this year.

No, really.

They are extras in a new historical documentary about Sir Robert Menzies — Australia’s longest serving prime minister — being filmed at Port Kembla, against the backdrop of the unions refusing to load the ships with pig iron headed for Japan in 1939.

‘‘We were asked to be part of it because we’re both pretty good agitators,’’ Cr Hay laughed.

Both men have had long involvements with unions — Cr Hay with the Public Service Association and Cr Harty with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, and other unions.

"The documentary will likely come out in August," Cr Hay said.

Production began on November 15, 2013 — the 75th anniversary of the wharfies’ refusal, which sparked a nine-week stand-off with the Australian government.

The documentary is named Pig Iron Bob after a nickname given to Menzies in January 1939 when he came to the port to try to end the strike.

‘‘Yesterday (Wednesday) was the filming of the arrival of Bob in his role as the attorney-general,’’ Cr Hay said.

Cr Harty said: ‘‘I feature in about three significant scenes of the documentary, as does Councillor Hay.

"It was hard because they take so many takes. I have dinky knees at the best of times, but it was good."

The stand taken by Port Kembla wharfies and seamen successfully prevented Japanese bullets and bombs being made from Australian pig iron.

Click here for more on the film.

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