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3D Metalforge places itself in liquidation

3D printing bureau 3D Metalforge has placed itself and its Singapore operating subsidiaries in voluntary administration. Directors voted to propose voluntary administration to creditors for the Australian listed parent company and, separately, for liquidation of its Singapore subsidiaries 3D Metalforge Pte Ltd and 3D Matters Pte Ltd. No reasons were given for the moves. Rob Kirman and Rob Brauer of McGrathNicol were appointed administrators of the parent company while Luke Anthony Fuller and Ellyn Tan Huixian of Quantuma were appointed liquidators in Singapore. McGrathNicol will explore options for sale or recapitalisation of 3D Metalforge Limited. The company’s US subsidiaries were not affected by the announcements.

BAE Systems new Hunter frigate manufacturing milestone

BAE Systems Australia’s shipbuilding team has chalked up its first operational milestone of 2023, successfully rotating a half prototype block in the Hunter class frigate construction programme weighing 96 tonnes (pictured). The complex ‘right side up’ manoeuvre took the team just under 90 minutes to complete. The half block makes up half of the second prototype block – block 10 – and would be located in the middle of the ship. Prototype block units are fabricated and constructed in the inverted position to maximise the work that can be completed in the ”down-hand position’, saving time, energy, and making construction more efficient. The company is scheduled later this year to cut steel on the first production blocks, which will be used in the first Hunter frigate.

Australia leads world in consumption of lower-strength beer

New academic research has found Australians are leading the world when it comes to the consumption of lower strength beers, with only Sweden, which has significantly lower tax rates for mid strength beer, matching the size of the category in Australia. The paper by Professor Kym Anderson of University of Adelaide found that over 30 per cent of beer sales in Australia are now mid, low or zero strength, up from 23 per cent in the 1990s. Key trends include the report include beer volumes dropping significantly since a peak in the 1970s, the share of premium beer consumption rose from 28 per cent in 2011 to 43 per cent in 2018, and zero-alcohol beer is growing rapidly in Australia but still represents only 1 per cent of sales. John Preston, CEO of the Brewers Association of Australia, said, “This report highlights both the strength of the brewing sector in Australia and its contribution to the unparalleled progress that has been made in Australia on responsible alcohol consumption.”

Carnegie and HPE extend collaboration agreement

Carnegie Clean Energy announced that it has extended its collaboration agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE). The agreement is for an additional two years, to 15 November 2024, with all other terms and conditions of the agreement remain in effect. A key partner since 2020, Hewlett Packard Labs, the exploratory and advanced research group of HPE,
and Carnegie have successfully worked on advanced control initiatives related to CETO, a wave-energy technology that converts kinetic energy from ocean swell into electrical power. The two organisations have made progress in boosting CETO’s performance through the development of a Reinforcement Learning (RL) based controller. Through the continued collaboration, the team will test the RL-based controller in a tank testing campaign at the Cantabria Coastal and Ocean Basin (CCOB) in March 2023.

“Start something” defence industry campaign launched in WA

The Western Australian government has committed a further $11 million over the next four years, aiming to ensure a pipeline of skilled professional and para-professional workers in the defence industry. As part of the investment, it launched its “The Other Force – Start something” campaign, which it said shines a spotlight on the industries that support Australia’s Defence Force. The campaign showcases careers available in the state across all five defence domains: land, air, maritime, space and information and cyber. The campaign was developed in consultation with WA defence industry employers, Team WA universities and training providers, and features Western Australians, including Australian Defence Force (ADF) veterans, working in the industry. “Through working with the industry to promote a diverse range of career opportunities offered in WA’s defence industry we can support the future needs of the sector and the WA community,” said training minister Simone McGurk.

NSW launches new $10 million waste solutions fund 

The $10 million fund NSW Local Government Waste Solutions (LGWS) is open, with the state’s councils and regional waste groups encouraged to apply for support. NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Executive Director Liesbet Spanjaard said on Tuesday that, “The transition to a circular economy requires collaboration and a willingness to think outside the box… If we’re to achieve the ambitious 2030 targets set out by the NSW Government which include a 60% reduction in litter and an 80% average resource recovery rate from waste streams, we must invest in innovation.” Eligible organisations are encouraged to prioritise projects observing circular design principles, such as material recovery and reprocessing to keep products in use as long as possible. The first year of the program offers grants of up to $200,000 for individual councils and up to $400,000 for regional waste groups and joint council initiatives. The first round of funding is for $2 million in 2023, with a further $8 million available over the following four years. Applications for the first round of funding are open from until March 31. More info here.


Picture: BAE Systems Australia

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