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Second evolved Cape class patrol vessel launched

The second of six Evolved Cape Class Patrol Boats launched on Saturday at the Austal Ships shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. Following its official launch, the second patrol vessel in the $344 million build programme will receive finishing touches and undergo sea trials before being delivered to the navy later this year. The Evolved Cape Class Patrol Boats will be used by the navy for border protection, fisheries and constabulary duties until the Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels enter service. All six boats are currently under construction, and the first vessel was launched last October and is currently undergoing sea trials. Minister for defence industry Melissa Price said the build directly supports around 400 jobs that provide benefits throughout Austal’s supply chain.

Rail disruption shifts WA focus to maritime supply chains

The Western Australian government has established a taskforce to examine the state’s shipping industry and supply chains that link WA with the east coast and international customers. The taskforce comes in response to the recent disruption to the supply chain into WA with the severing of the east-west rail link to South Australia. The taskforce will examine the role intrastate and interstate shipping can play as an ancillary route for freight movements in the event of natural disasters and disruptions to other supply chains and the potential for a national approach to the use of interstate shipping to strengthen critical supply chains. The impact of the disruption is still being felt on WA supermarket shelves. WA is home to some of the world’s busiest ports, and the state government is keen to train more Western Australians to play key roles in the shipping industry and perform vital functions in ports.

Woolworths wins global sustainable packaging award

The World Packaging Organisation (WPO) WorldStar Awards have honoured Woolworths and packaging group Sealed Air among the finalists. Woolworths Group was chosen for its PaperSeal Meat Tray innovation (pictured), which features a paper tray and fresh seal film, using 75 per cent less plastic than the previous packaging. Adopting this packaging for seven beef cuts will allow Woolworths to eliminate 2.2 tonnes of plastic from the supply chain each year. The paperboard tray recyclable via kerbside collection and the peelable vacuum films used to seal in the meat and line the trays can also be recycled through the REDcycle collection programme for soft plastics located at every Woolworths store. Woolworths also won two awards for ‘clear on-pack instructions (that) show consumers how to separate the materials for recycling’. WPO president Pierre Pienaar said: “To be shortlisted is indeed a huge achievement. To get global recognition is outstanding.”

CSL gets shareholder go-ahead for Viofor acquisition

Biotechnology giant CSL has received offers for the sale of 74 per cent of takeover target Viofor Pharma following the close of the main offer period. CSL will waive its condition of an 80 per cent acceptance rate for its offer and declared the offer successful. The $17.2 billion all cash takeover of healthcare business, Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Vifor, is a gamechanger for the Melbourne company. Viofor’s products are considered complementary to CSL’s, significantly diversifying the company’s portfolio in areas including haematology, thrombosis, cardiovascular and transport treatments.

Andrew Forrest invests in plant-based foods

Andrew Forrest’s private investment house Tattarang has invested in a minority stake in ProForm Foods, originally a joint venture with the CSIRO, which operates an $11 million plant protein manufacturing facility in Sydney. The investment was made through WA beef supplier Harvest Road, Forrest’s agribusiness division and the owner of WA pastoral stations, feedlots and a beef abattoir at Harvey. The investment follows close on the announcement by Thomas Foods International’s massive $378 million foray into the plant-based protein sector, promising to create more than 8,500 full-time jobs in three new South Australian factories. ProForm’s patented PHMC technology – Proform High Moisture Cooking – to make a range of chicken-style tenders, beef-style strips, burger patties and meat-style balls based on plant food ingredients. The company is headed by former Olympic swimmer Matt Dunn sells under the Meet brand.

Advanced Manufacturing Showcase event at Deakin

MEMKO Australia, Deakin University and Dassault Systèmes will host a manufacturing showcase event which will include an overview of current trends, demonstrations and presentations from industry leaders on Wednesday, March 30. The Advanced Manufacturing Showcase event will run from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, and feature “Deakin University’s cutting-edge facilities and manufacturing incubator programs, end-to-end capabilities of the Dassault Systèmes solution for Advanced Manufacturing, and MEMKO’s industry, technical and project capability.” You can find out more about the free event here.


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