Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed


Frucor Suntory to build $400m factory

Beverage manufacturer Frucor Suntory is to build a $400 million facility in Swanbank, Queensland with support from the Queensland government. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: “The value of attracting this investment to Queensland will have significant benefits for our economic recovery and most importantly, it will create new jobs for Queenslanders. This project…(will) create 160 long-term roles when it starts operating in mid-2024.” Queensland won the project ‘ahead of offers from other states and other countries’. However the state did not state the subsidy offered to attract the company.

Defence grants schemes revised and relaunched

Defence industry minister Melissa Price has announced the renaming of the defence Capability Improvement Grant Program which will become the Defence Readiness Grant Program as part of a shake up and extension of defence industry grants. The Global Competitive Grant Program will restart as well as a revised and a competitive version of the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities grant program. Price said: “All of our grant programs will revert back to their original pre-COVID 19 co-contribution levels of 50/50.” Commonwealth Procurement Rules have also been updated for SME defence suppliers.

Seven Plungie prefabricated concrete pools installed in one day

Hutchinson Builders has installed seven prefabricated concrete Plungie pools in one morning at Sandbox Properties latest development Marlowe at Runaway Bay, Queensland. The high-end multi-residential development features seven Plungies in a canal-side location (pictured). The factory-made pools were lifted into place by a single crane. According to Plungie its pools offer developers ‘speed, scale and cost-efficiency. There is no other Pool solution in the world that can provide a builder with such efficiencies’. Plungies are manufactured in Brisbane.

Ellume opens US factory

Covid rapid-diagnostic manufacturer Ellume has officially opened its new factory in Frederick county USA. Ellume CEO Dr. Sean Parsons inaugurated the new facility which can produce 15 million Coid-19 home tests per month. One of the most reliable at-home antigen tests on the market, the test uses fluorescent detection technology usually reserved for clinical laboratories. Former Australian ambassador to the US Joe Hockey said Ellume was a ‘fantastic company and Aussie success story’. Ellume has a global COVID-19 and TB partnership with QIAGEN, and a range of professional products under its ellume·lab brand.

CSIRO maps public sentiment on recycling

Researchers from CSIRO’s Responsible Innovation Future Science Platform and Ending Plastic Waste Mission are working to pilot a process to identify public concerns, expectations, and perceptions relating to advanced recycling technology. Researchers will combine existing social licence frameworks with another theoretical approach – strategic niche management. This is a relatively new approach that is used to help transition new technologies from fringe to mainstream. By understanding what is being said about this technology, and by whom, researchers will be able to examine how emerging narratives begin to shape public attitudes and perceptions. The overarching goal is that industry and government will be equipped to anticipate what changes will be needed to make advanced recycling technology socially acceptable.

Uranium production to recommence at Honeymoon

Boss Energy has confirmed strong financial returns from a planned reopening of the Honeymoon uranium mine, 80 kilometres from Broken Hill in South Australia. A final investment decision (FID) on a $113 million capital investment in the mine and processing facilities will occur when a planned $120 million share placement is completed. Long lead items have already been evaluated and are ready for procurement. Strong uranium prices underpin the decision to reopen the mine which closed in 2013. Uranium production could begin within 18 months of a decision.

Picture: Plungie

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