Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

GME launches handheld UHF CB radio

Australian-owned communications manufacturer GME has launched its Australian made XRS-660 Handheld UHF CB Radio (pictured.) The radio enables people to stay in touch, even in mobile phone black spot areas, with only 27 per cent of the Australian landmass covered by mobile phone reception. The XRS-660 is the first of its kind, with built-in GPS functionality designed for campers, hikers, 4WDers, and those who work in regional and remote areas. GME Safety Expert Tony Crooke said: “For Aussies travelling or working in remote and regional areas, staying in touch is vital to ensuring they get home safe. That’s why GME is proud to launch the XRS-660 – the first-ever XRS handheld radio with GPS tracking capabilities. Australians can now have total peace of mind knowing they can communicate with their fellow travellers or workers…without mobile phone service.”

Pet food producer expands in Victoria

Lyka Pet Food has established a new $16 million pet food manufacturing facility and national distribution centre in Dandenong South, the Victorian government announced this week. Over 100 new jobs are expected to be created as a result of the expansion, which includes new production lines and “automated equipment that is the first of its kind in Australia, enhancing efficiency and nutrient retention.” Lyka operates through an eCommerce platform direct to consumers, and is capitalising on a surge in pet ownership in Australia, with 69 per cent of households now having “a furry family member,” according to statistics from Animal Medicines Australia.

Australia record for red meat exports in 2023

Australia exported a total volume of 1.84 million shipped weight tonnes of red meat to over 100 countries worth a record $17.1 billion for the 12 months ending November 2023, according to figures this week from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA.) The organisation’s annual global market snapshots for 2024 provide insights into where the volume and value were distributed to, and drivers of demand in each market. Mainland China remains the number one destination for Australian red meat exports by volume, importing 206,193 tonnes of beef and 165,245 tonnes of lamb and mutton. The United States also continues to be a major market for Australian grassfed beef and lamb. Japan is the third largest beef importer globally and the second largest export customer of Australian beef.

Weld Australia says local content needs attention in energy transition

Weld Australia this week repeated its call on the federal and state governments to legislate local content procurement policies, stipulating that 60 per cent (by volume) of all fabricated steel used in renewable energy projects is manufactured in Australia by local welders. The federal Capacity Investment Scheme presents a critical opportunity to bolster local economic participation in the renewable energy transition, according to the industry group, welders. The federal Capacity Investment Scheme presents a critical opportunity to bolster local economic participation in the renewable energy transition, according to the industry group, with the aim of unlocking $40 billion in private investment to add another 32 gigawatts of capacity to the National Electricity Market. “Local content legislation must specify that 60% of all fabricated steel used in our renewable energy projects is manufactured in Australia by local welders,” said CEO Geoff Crittenden. “This local content legislation must be drafted in conjunction with industry to eliminate the loopholes that so often arise in these types of policies.”

Austral Bricks unveils Pottery Blend Collection

Austral Bricks’ latest range, Pottery Blend, pays homage to “the tactility and tonal profiles of the ancient craft of pottery,” the company said this week. Brett Ward, General Manager of International Marketing at Brickworks said, “Pottery Blend embraces inspiration from the past, while looking to the future to define the next generation of Australian homes with the range’s beautifully patinaed nature.” According to a statement from the company, the range is driven by market-demand and designed for modern and effortlessly bold architecture, and coincides with Brickworks’ annual product release. The range is available in both standard and long format profiles, and is manufactured and available in Queensland, distributed exclusively through Brickworks Building Products.

Australian-built fisheries research vessel launched at Geraldton

A new $3.2 million vessel for Western Australian fisheries research built by Dongara Marine was launched this week. The vessel replaces the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s ageing RV George Cassels, which is no longer operational. According to a statement from fisheries minister Don Punch, the 18.6-metre vessel was named Djildjit Kaartadjiny in consultation with Noongar elders, and meaning knowledge and understanding of aquamarine fish or fisheries research. “The construction of the research vessel in Geraldton is a great example of Western Australia’s regional manufacturing capability, which helps to generates jobs and grow our regional economies,” said Punch.

Picture: supplied

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