Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

IBISWorld releases new market figures on baby food manufacture

Market research firm IBISWorld has published a new Baby Food Manufacturing in Australia report, finding the sector experienced “mixed results” and declined in size by 0.2 over the last five years. The research showed desire for nutrient-added and organic products had supported performance, as had overseas demand, particularly from Asia, for safe and high-quality Australian baby food. In a summary of results, IBISWorld estimated total revenues at an annualised $237 million for the five years through 2023-24, included an expected rise of 1.5 per cent in the current year following an uptick in births. “Revenue is forecast to rise at an annualised 1.7% over the five years through 2028-29, to $251.3 million,” according to the summary. “Projected growth in the number of births and an increase in the number of females in the labour force are forecast to drive demand”. 

Home battery storage can save grid: electricians group

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has said that investing in home battery storage is an “immediate solution to Australia’s at-risk energy grid” highlighted in the latest AEMO report. In a statement this week, the group’s CEO Malcolm Richards said governments needed to stop prolonging the pain of the clean energy transition by hanging onto hope billion-dollar infrastructure projects such as Snowy 2.0 and the Marinus link would eventually provide a solution. Instead, said Richards, “The best way to prevent successive summers of blackout pain is to leverage the investments so many of us have already made in the clean energy transition by encouraging home energy storage.” He added that it was logical to invest in battery storage “for homes and businesses who are, in many cases, producing more energy than they consume and distributing that to a grid that often can’t cope with the excess load.’’

Unions lash SA government “climate hypocrisy”

The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union of Australia South Australian branch – with the support of Maritime Union of Australia, CFMEU and AMWU SA branches – has condemned the state Labor government’s recommendation that an offshore wind farm zone not extend to Commonwealth waters off the state’s southeast. In a statement this week, the group cited the government’s “opposition to the thousands of renewable energy jobs and vital emissions reductions” an offshore wind farm zone could create, and said claims about potential harm to rock lobster farming and other marine life were at odds with policies and a declaration of a climate emergency. AMWU SA Secretary Peter Bauer said: “The government’s opposition risks denying us the opportunity to develop good sustainable jobs, as well as being at odds with the state’s renewable energy policies. It must be reconsidered.”

Imugene appoints new medical officer

Clinical stage immuno-oncology company Imugene has announced the appointment of Dr Paul Woodard as its Chief Medical Officer. Woodard has worked on a wide range of drug development projects in solid tumours, haematologic malignancies, and non-malignant haematologic disorders, the company said, and most recently had served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Immune-Onc Therapeutics. Woodard earned a B.A. in Chemistry and M.D. from the University of North Carolina. His post-graduate rules include Residency at the University of Virginia and Fellowships at both the University of North Carolina and the University of Minnesota. Imugene’s CEO Leslie Chong said: “Dr Woodard’s extensive expertise in clinical development will be a major asset to Imugene and we eagerly anticipate the leadership and insights he will bring to our clinical programs.”

Gold Coast Titans promote state government’s Women in Manufacturing Strategy

The Gold Coast Titans women’s rugby league team has joined the Queensland government’s Women in Manufacturing Strategy, as part of a new sponsorship to attract women to the industry. The strategy was launched in March, and the new partnership will promote its Women in Manufacturing Mentoring Program and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Toolkit. (More information on each here and here.) “There are many parallels between women working in traditional male dominated industries and women in sport, as we work towards gender equality and promoting equal access to opportunities”, read a statement from the Queensland government on Tuesday.

Over a third of businesses could go electric for brand image, says new report

Figures from business loan comparison site Small Business Loans Australia have shown a rise in electric vehicle purchases. In January to June, 8.4 per cent of new vehicle purchases were electric (a 120.5 per cent increase from last year). New figures from a SBLA survey show 39 per cent of Australian SMEs would choose to invest in EVs to meet customer or employee expectations and 30 per cent would make the switch in an effort to boost brand credibility. The results are from an independent panel of 202 business owners and decision-makers. “The competitive nature of the Australian SME scene means businesses are conscious of their brand perception and are looking for ways to improve their credibility,” according to a statement from SBLA.

Picture: ParentingPatch, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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