Another COAG meeting, another limp swing at the waste problem

By Trevor Thornton, Lecturer, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University A meeting on Friday between state and federal environment ministers to discuss Australia’s recycling and waste crisis has been disappointingly inconclusive. Some targets were set for banning the export of various used materials: glass exports will be banned by July 2020 and mixed…

Smaller manufacturers and the big challenge of digitalisation

It’s been said that Australia’s population of enterprises has a “missing middle.”    Within manufacturing, there is certainly a heavy weighting towards the smaller end of town. A count published in the Australian Industry Group’s Australian Manufacturing in 2019 report found that of 47,530 employing companies, 87 per cent were between 1 and 19 employees…

Profiles of success – MtM automotive

By Peter Roberts The loss of Australia’s car industry was not the blow anticipated because of people like Mark Albert of MtM automotive. The Melbourne supplier of doorchecks and other body components foresaw the demise of the sector and set about creating a future for themselves in global markets. Doorchecks may seem like a trivial…

Wind and solar cement energy cost advantage even over marginal cost of coal

The cost of generating electricity from onshore wind and solar installations continued its cost advantage over fossil fuel generation in the latest edition of Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis. The well regarded analysis noted onshore wind and utility-scale solar became cost-competitive with conventional generation several years ago on a new-build basis. In its 2019…

Geelong hemp processing business ramps up machinery exports

Textile & Composite Industries is exporting two of its D8 hemp decorticators to a farm in Pennsylvania.   The units, which retail for roughly $350,000, are the eighth generation of the machine, and are produced by Geelong engineering business Austeng. Founder of TCI, the late inventor Adrian Clarke, made his first machine in 1994.   …

Now NSW sources ferries from overseas, ignores local builder

Comment by Peter Roberts The New South Wales government has confirmed its love affair with importing expensive transport equipment with the purchase of 13 Sydney harbour ferries for a reported $1.3 billion. Writing in MichaelWest.com, maritime commentator Neil Baird said Northern NSW company, Birdon had contracted to build the ferries in China and Indonesia. The…