Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Morrison hastily approved $828 million in manufacturing grants while secret industry minister 

Nine newspapers reported over the weekend that former prime minister Scott Morrison (pictured) had the final word on $828 million worth of manufacturing grants for 17 projects leading up to the election. He did so while industry minister, one of five portfolios he secretly appointed himself to over 2020 and 2021. The findings were made by a federal department of industry review announced by prime minister Anthony Albanese after winning the election. “Manufacturing companies have told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald they were turned away by the previous government or forced to wait because decisions were delayed ahead of the federal election,” the newspapers reported on Saturday. “[The review] also found the former prime minister announced the grants with his colleagues in a spate of 12 decisions that began on March 1 and concluded on April 4 before the election was called, followed by another five spending announcements during the campaign to decide the election on May 21.”

Universities Australia releases skills paper

Universities Australia has released a Skilling Australia for the future guide, ahead of next month’s skills summit. UA said the new guide outlines how universities can help address the country’s critical skills shortage. UA’s CEO Catriona Jackson stated that more than half of the predicted one million new jobs to be created over the next five years would require a university degree. “Keeping pace in an increasingly knowledge-intensive world is fundamental to our success as a nation,” said Jackson in a statement. Among recommendations in the report are that it be made easier for people to retrain and upskill; incentives are provided for university, industry and research collaborations; international students and knowledge workers be attracted and kept; and more investment be driven in university-trained workers.

Australian Maritime Alliance partners with IMC on LAND 8710

The Australian Maritime Alliance — a joint venture between Serco and Civmec — has teamed up with IMC Naval Architects (IMC.) The AMA is offering an evolved Littoral Manoeuvre Vessel – Medium (LMV-M) for the Australian Army’s LAND 8710 Phase 1A program. The design, “Oboe”, would bolster an already impressive line-up of Australian Industry partners, said Serco in a statement on Monday, and the addition of IMC as an Australian naval architecture and marine engineering consultant brought a wide portfolio of local skills, experience and expertise reinforcing AMA’s sovereign proposal. Serco Defence Managing Director, Clint Thomas AM said that, “Partnering with IMC demonstrates the importance of maximising Australian Industry Capability while drawing upon Serco’s global shipbuilding expertise to ensure AMA delivers the best possible solutions and advancements for the Australian Defence Force.”

Bluglass gets now CFO

ASX-listed semiconductor developer BluGlass has appointed finance executive Rob Ambrogio as Chief Financial Officer, the company told shareholders on Monday morning. Ambrogio’s background includes more than 20 years’ experience leading high-performing finance teams in high-growth public, private and not-for-profit enterprises, with CFO roles at ASX-listed investment company Gowing Bros, employment and training firm MTC Australia Limited, and marketing agency Creative Activation. The role commences on a part-time basis, said BluGlass, “and may increase to full-time in-line with revenue generation activity.”

Round three of Tasmanian advanced manufacturing grants open 

Applications for round three of the $3 million Tasmanian Advanced Manufacturing Accelerating Growth Grant Program are being accepted, the Tasmanian government announced at the weekend. The program offers grant funding of up to $100,000 — covering as much as half of project costs — to purchase equipment to help companies’ market expansion The third round is expected to be highly competitive, according to the state government, after 20 successful applicants were awarded $1.5 million over the first two rounds, part of a total estimated investment of $7.5 million. Information about the program is available at this link.

Image credit: Jason Edwards/Sky News

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