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NSW’s first hydrogen bus trial underway on Central Coast

NSW’s first hydrogen-powered electric bus hit the streets of the Central Coast on Monday. “These hydrogen buses are the first step in growing our green hydrogen industry which is estimated to grow the NSW economy by an extra $600 million each year from 2030 onwards and attract $80 billion in investment by 2050,” said state energy minister Matt Kean. According to the government, the trial represents “an important milestone” in moving NSW’s 8000-plus public transport buses to zero emissions technology. The project is a partnership between the Department of Planning and Environment, local bus manufacturer ARCC, Central Coast operator Red Bus, and Origin Energy. The bus will be in service until the end of June.

AML3D launches new share purchase plan

Metal additive manufacturing business AML3D has announced a share purchase plan, following its $3 million capital raise via placement announced last month. Eligible shareholders will be able to participate in the SPP, which aims to raise up to $400,000. Each holder may apply for a maximum of $30,000 worth of new shares at a price of $0.072 per share. An offer booklet with further details of the SPP is expected to be released next week. The new funds will supplement those raised in the placement and be used to advance AML3D’s US growth strategy, including establishment of a presence at key US additive manufacturing centres of excellence; develop a US sales team, building a reseller network; and further development in AML3D’s ARCEMY software.

Queensland focusses on solar panel waste

The Queensland government has said it will consult on a proposal to ban the dumping of end-of-life solar panels in landfill, and will pilot a solar panel recycling scheme led by industry. The consultation is part of a draft e-Products plan, announced by environment minister Meaghan Scanlon on Clean Up Australia Day this weekend. Solar panel waste accounted for nearly 1,000 tonnes in 2019, but by 2030 it could account for some 17,000 tonnes. The state government also said its will initially invest more than $250,000 for a two-stage pilot of an industry-led Solar Stewardship Scheme, led by the Smart Energy Council (SEC), and involving circular economy specialists The Activ Group to develop a tracking and information system to log volumes and locations of recovered materials as part of the pilot, with statege two involving “on-ground collection, recovery and recycling of panels, focusing on rooftop installations.” Feedback on the draft action plan, which is available here, is being accepted by email through eproductsfeedbac[email protected], with consultation open until 5 pm on April 17.

Technical Design awarded for Darwin Ship Lift project

The Northern Territory government has awarded a design consultancy contract to Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec (WGA) to continue delivery of the ship lift project, which will be it says will position “Darwin as a major international and national player in the marine services industry.” Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec has undertaken design work on the ship lift project previously, with the new contract to “focus on delivering expert value engineering advice” to maximise the benefits of the project, and progressed concurrently as negotiations and due diligence checks continue regarding the construction of the ship lift facility. Chief minister Natasha Fyles described the ship lift as “a major national infrastructure project,” and “a key piece of enabling infrastructure.”

Lyro Robotics seeks seed funding

Fresh produce packing robotics developer Lyro Robotics is seeking up to $3.5 million in seed funding from tech savvy investors or strategic partners to further develop their automated farm solutions. The company’s robots (pictured) pack a wide variety of produce including avocados, mangoes, pineapples, zucchinis and sweet potatoes utilising a combination of AI, computer vision and grasping technology. Lyro plans to deploy its robotic systems for the 2023 season, and claims a sales pipeline of 25 for use in NSW and Queensland. Sales are also being sought in Thailand and Japan. Lyro previously raised $2 million in pre0-seed funding.

Government funded VET training numbers fall as Canberra and states prepare a boost

The number of people enrolled in government-funded training fell 5.6 percent to 1,245,845 in the nine months to 30 September, 2022 compared to the previous corresponding period. There were 1,052,985 government-funded nationally recognised qualification enrolments in Australia, down 2.5 percent from the same period in 2021.TIn the nine months to 30 September, 2022 the most popular field of education was engineering and related technologies, with 206,085 enrolled or 16.5 per cent of the total, followed by society and culture. These numbers from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) predate the signing of agreements between the Commonwealth and states to provide further fee-free training places.

Nova Eye Medical raises $8 million

Medical device manufacturer Nova Eye Medical has raised $8 million from sophisticated and professional investors through a strongly supported share placement. Directors of the company subscribed $270,000 to the raising. Proceeds will be used principally to fund the expansion of the company’s glaucoma surgical devices in the USA, Europe and China. The company’s iTrack device lowers pressure within the eye.

Picture: Lyro Robotics/Lyro robot arm

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