The ETU lost one of its true giants with the passing of former ETU NSW & ACT Branch organiser and Assistant Secretary Neville Betts.
Neville grew up in public housing in the Canberra suburb of Downer. He stayed true to his working-class values throughout a life of service to the labour movement.
Completing an electrical apprentice with Canberra distributor ACTEA (now Evoenergy), Neville joined the ETU in 1976. By the early 1980s was a shop steward and became an organiser in 1986.
In 2007 Neville was elected Assistant Branch Secretary, a position he held until his retirement in 2017.
Neville led the union’s work in the ACT, organising electrical workers at Essential Energy, Snowy Hydro, the ACT Government, Parliament House, Transgrid and elsewhere.
Neville’s long-time colleague and mate ETU organiser Matt McCann said: ‘Nev fought the toughest battle of all against cancer over the last three years but unfortunately his body could not sustain the fight any longer.
‘He never gave up. Anyone who knew Nev would know that was in his DNA.
‘Nev spent 32 years fighting for ETU members and his beloved power industry comrades. He never backed off or backed down from a blue.
‘Nev liked a beer, he liked a good time, he loved to fish. Shooting clay targets was his obsession. Most importantly Neville loved his family with a passion.’
Neville is survived by his wife Cheryl, son Jake, daughter Kate and her husband Mark. Neville was a doting grandfather to Hudson and twins Madeline and Abigaile.
The ETU extends deepest condolences to the family, friends and workmates of our Life Member Neville Betts.