The ramping up of shipbuilding programs in Adelaide this year is providing an employment lifeline for South Australia as the state looks for ways to boost jobs growth post coronavirus. There are already almost 700 people working on the Hunter Class Frigate Program. Those numbers are expected to reach 1000 by the end of the year and 1500 by mid-2025 before reaching a peak of 2400 in 2028. Nine anti-submarine warfare frigates will be built by ASC Shipbuilding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide in what is being described as the largest surface ship project in Australia’s defence history. The $35 billion project is expected to generate thousands of additional jobs in South Australia and interstate at defence primes and smaller component manufacturers, which are being contracted to supply parts and expertise. It comes at an opportune time as Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force figures for March, released last week, show South Australia’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate climbed to 6.2 per cent, up from its already nation-topping February rate of 5.8 per cent. The full impact of coronavirus job cuts are not likely to show up until April’s figures are released next month. South Australia is pivotal in Australia’s $90 billion National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise. The last of three Air Warfare Destroyers were handed over to the Commonwealth in a ceremony at Osborne last month where construction of Offshore Patrol Vessels is well underway. Osborne has been the home of the Air Warfare Destroyer project for more than a decade and was also where six Collins Class submarines were built for the Royal Australian Navy and have undergone ongoing sustainment. It is also expected to be the construction site for 12 Attack Class Submarines from 2024, creating thousands more jobs. ASC Shipbuilding has become a subsidiary of BAE Systems throughout the Hunter […]
With nice irony, Malcolm Turnbull’s publisher was in a stoush at the weekend with Scott Morrison’s office over its leaking of the former prime minister’s autobiography, A Bigger Picture. Hardie Grant Books revealed a Morrison staffer had distributed the Turnbull tome electronically to numerous people. In a sharp letter the publisher’s law firm ordered the staffer to “cease and desist” and threatened legal action. On Sunday night – the eve of the book’s official publication – a spokesman for Morrison said: “The Prime Minister’s office will not comment on legal proceedings. Staff have been reminded of their obligations under copyright law, and of the high standards of conduct expected of them.” The PMO staff member, Nico Louw, is said to have received an “unsolicited” copy of the book, and then sent it to a number of others. He has subsequently apologised. Indeed the book has been scattering around like confetti. Last Thursday The Australian, under the byline of national affairs editor Simon Benson, published an extensive report from the book. Obtaining leaks is part of what journalists do and we can’t know where Benson got this one. The newspaper delighted in pre-empting Nine, that had rights to the book, and in raining on Turnbull’s parade which, given the unfortunate release time, in the middle of a pandemic, presents more challenges than the usual book tour. In his nearly 700-page tell-all (perhaps not quite “all”) story, Turnbull offers his insight on Morrison as a political operator, drawn especially from their days as prime minister and treasurer between 2015 and 2018. Turnbull highlights Morrison’s penchant for leaks and selective briefings, labelling them “serial indiscretions”. “Scott, like many other politicians, used leaks to ingratiate himself with journalists and newspapers – especially News Corporation’s Simon Benson and editors like Chris Dore and Paul Whittaker,” […]
A lemon myrtle farm in Far North Queensland has retooled its entire operation to meet the growing demand for hand sanitiser and cleaning products in the wake of coronavirus. Lemon myrtle has natural antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. To keep up with a spike in customer enquiries, Australia’s largest producer, Australian Native Products, has shifted its entire Mareeba production from turning 95% of its harvested lemon myrtle into dried leaves to distilling 100% of the crop into lemon myrtle essential oil. Lemon myrtle essential oil can then be used as a natural antibacterial in hand sanitiser and cleaning products. The farm expects to produce more than 300kg of lemon myrtle oil between now and June. CEO James Gosper can discuss the installation of the new still and how the farm has reworked its entire crop away from drying to distilling. As a whole, the company is working to make use of the bi-products of lemon myrtle. They have developed manufacturing processes to extract hydrosol from the plant which can be used in fragrances, as well as microfibre which they hope to market into body scrubs and cosmetics.
Mining – an ages-old industry where personal injury and danger have been constant concerns, and where Aquila are delighted to now offer a range of gloves designed with exactly this situation in mind. Their NFU600S meets the general-purpose needs of mining workers for an enhanced grip protective glove that is both comfortable to wear over a long shift and low cost to purchase. Aquila NFU600S gloves feature a 13-gauge nylon liner in a fine knit outer palm dipped in sandy nitrile. The user experience is expected to include good grip, especially of slippery oily parts, coupled to a high degree of flexibility and durability with optimum dexterity in handling small items. The foam nitrile palm coat provides liquid resistance while leaving the remainder of the glove to breathe comfortably. The NFU600S is part of an Aquila mining-oriented offering which also includes a wide range of impact protection gloves – plus cut resistance gloves where sharp object protection is required.
Slyletica offers wide range of eco fabrics including the new vegan leather ‘Desserto’ to entrepreneurs & influencers looking to start an athleisure brand; interest has surged due to Covid-19 and casual ‘work from home’ attire. Slyletica, a leading fashion agency and pioneer in the manufacturing space, is excited to announce they are introducing the latest innovation in sustainable fabrics, Desserto cactus leather, to Australia ahead of Earth Day on April 22nd, 2020. Founded in Mexico, the cactus leather Desserto won the international Green Product Award 2020 in Germany just last month. The organic material is made from turning nopal cactus leaves into vegan, cruelty-free leather. Older leaves are taken from organically grown nopal cactus plants, cleaned, crushed, and left to dry in the sun for three days prior to manufacturing. The material is sustainable, organic, soft, durable enough to make clothing and accessories and partially biodegradable – unlike other vegan leathers which are made from PVC or plastic. Working closely with the supplier of the leather, Slyletica is proud to add another eco-friendly option to its diverse library of materials and offer it to their growing database of clients looking for environmentally friendly fabrics for their lines. Slyletica’s range of eco-fabrics includes materials like wool, tencel, linen, organic cotton, hemp, modal, bamboo and most recently Econyl yarn by Carvico – a fabrication made from repurposed and recycled fishing nets. Slyletica is Australia’s leading fashion agency and the only in the world that offers a complete end-to-end solution for anyone wanting to start a fashion brand. Specialising in athleisure and sportswear, Slyletica will work with over 250 influencers and entrepreneurs by the end of 2020 in an industry that is thriving during Covid-19 and the surge of ‘work from home’ attire. Slyletica was recently named the Business News Australia Young Entrepreneur […]
The economic heart attack induced by COVID-19 has revealed an ugly truth – many very large companies have too little cash to ride out sharp downturns. Cash flow variability, and the inability to retain earnings to buffer that variability, is one of the most common reasons small businesses fail. Because large companies have raised large amounts of cash through public offers, and take in large amounts of cash in their ordinary operations, they ought to be more resilient. Yet even though the pandemic-inspired shutdowns are mere weeks old, many big companies such as Virgin Australia and listed childcare providers are already pleading for or receiving public guarantees and bailouts. Other companies such as Flight Centre and Cochlear are rushing to raise extra funds though discounted share placements. Bond and debt markets are experiencing severe problems, making it difficult for these companies to borrow. Why are big companies so vulnerable? Catastrophic declines in cash flow are only half the story. The other half is the three-decade focus on maximising shareholder returns. Companies have used four strategies to keep their share prices high and push them higher. First, they have paid out profits to shareholders in the form of dividends, leaving them with less to build cash buffers, pay higher wages and reinvest in the business. Reserve Bank research shows that over the past three decades dividend payouts have trended up over time to more than 80 cents of every dollar of corporate profits. In some companies dividends payouts exceed 100% of profits. Second, the same Reserve Bank research points to the increased use of share buy-backs and dividend reinvestment plans. The former boosts share prices by shrinking the stock of shares. The latter boosts demand for that stock. Third, to lock in these historically high dividend payout ratios, shareholders, including institutional shareholders such as superannuation funds, have demanded boards agree to dividend guarantees. […]
COVID-19’s impact on the Australian labour market has been dramatic and multifaceted. Some sectors of the economy have been almost completely shut down by government order. The demand in many industries has collapsed, while a few others have seen an increase. As many as one million jobs are under threat. Such estimates came before the government’s extraordinary JobKeeper scheme, which will undoubtedly reduce this figure considerably. Despite that, many who will keep their jobs may not actually have much to do at work. The economy will be in “hibernation” or on “life-support” for some time to come. We’ve gained about 1 billion hours of time If the economy has shed the equivalent of one million jobs, then we’ve gained about one billion hours of available time, and that’s just over the next six months. The full impact of the crisis could be even larger. What should we do with this time? Many of us are spending more time with children who are no longer physically at school. Some of us are doing tasks which our older relatives previously did. Netflix is also a compelling option. From a human capital perspective, the crisis presents a unique economic opportunity to re-train and up-skill Australia’s labour force. The Australian government jumped on board on Sunday, announcing funding that would cut the price of new six-month, remotely delivered diplomas and graduate certificates in nursing, teaching, health, information technology and science provided by universities and private tertiary institutions. Economists have long observed that investment in human capital (education, skills) tends to increase during recessions, because there aren’t as many well-paying alternatives. We can use it to get ahead of the curve In the current recession, the opportunities for training are greater. Even those of us who will remain employed but have little to do can use the time to invest in training. Our […]
Leading international welding equipment manufacturer, Kemppi, has launched its next-generation Alfa and Beta welding helmets and respirator models. The new e-series models provide excellent protection for arc welding, cutting, grinding, gouging and inspection processes. What’s more, they deliver refined performance, durability and comfort to suit various budgets. The new e-series range has been designed using feedback from ‘active welders’ to deliver greater wearable value. Highly robust and durable, both the Alfa and Beta e-series models feature an impact-rated shell that is tough and strong, yet lightweight. The spacious design of both the Alfa and Beta e-series accommodates eyeglasses and half masks, while also allowing good access to tight spaces. Plus, several settings and features support easy adjustment for the best personal fit and extra welding comfort, including a comfort headband, integrated magnifying lens holder and an overall 20% weight reduction when compared to previous Beta models. Users can also choose from new, optional leather neck and shoulder protectors. Both Alfa and Beta e-series models include a flip-up welding lens that is perfectly positioned for pre and post-weld inspection. Plus, the lenses’ GapView feature is especially suitable for tacking and setting work. The large and clear impact grade inspection lens has a viewing are of 80cm2 and is certified to EN 175B and AS/NZS 1337.1. Users can choose from a wide range of welding lens options. Alfa e-series Starting at just 467g, the Alfa e-series welding helmets are Kemppi’s most lightweight and compact face shields in its welding safety product range. A durable, low-cost solution that provides protection for all general welding applications and grinding, the Alfa e-series welding helmets are equipped with either a passive glass welding lens or auto-darkening ADF welding lens. Beta e-series The Beta e-series has been designed for professional welders. Certified for welding, cutting and grinding according […]
Treotham expandS its plain bearing range with the very abrasion-resistant igus material iglidur E7 With specifications such as low coefficient of friction and excellent vibration dampening, the tribo-polymer iglidur E7 has already proven its strengths in the sliding elements of the drylin linear technology from igus. Now the plastics specialist has also included the material in its plain bearings catalogue range. This also allows users to benefit from iglidur E7 mechanisms with rotating or pivoting movements. The low coefficient of friction of the material ensures smooth movements, reduces the required drive energy and saves additional costs. In times of advancing automation of the industry, durable, cost-effective and above all energy-efficient machine components are called for. Since 1983, the motion plastics specialist igus has been developing tribo-polymers for plain bearing technology that are free of lubricants and therefore free of maintenance. igus has a total of 57 iglidur materials in its product range for various applications. iglidur E7 is among them. The tribo-polymer has been used in the sliding elements of drylin linear systems since 2012 and has been available in dryspin lead screw nuts since 2018. iglidur E7 has already proven itself in many applications such as camera lenses, train doors and even 3D printers. Above all, the vibration-dampening specifications of the tribo-polymers convince the user. Therefore, igus has now further developed the material for its plain bearing range. The iglidur E7 is specifically designed for low to medium loads in pivoting movements and withstands surface pressures of up to 18 MPa in motion. Due to the very low coefficient of friction of the iglidur E7, the drive energy is reduced, saving costs for the user. The new plain bearing material is suitable for flap or sensor bearings. Further applications are found in packaging, textile machinery and furniture technology. Tried […]
Australia is launching its first digital shipbuilding course to ensure the nation’s workforce is ready to tackle the $35 billion Hunter Class frigates program. The partnership between BAE Systems shipbuilding business, ASC Shipbuilding, and South Australia’s Flinders University will shore up important digital technology skills for the country’s $90 billion naval shipbuilding plan. Its first 53 recruits are finishing up jobs on the Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer program and the course, which began this week, will save vital experience and upskill workers for new builds in South Australia. “The face of modern shipbuilding is changing and the Diploma of Digital Technology will enable current shipbuilders to keep pace with the latest trends while ensuring they are equipped for the future,” ASC Shipbuilding managing director Craig Lockhart said. “Not only does this course equip our employees with the skills that will be in demand at our digital shipyard at Osborne, but it guarantees we retain the shipbuilding skills between the end of the current shipbuilding programs and the ramp up of the Hunter program.” The newly-created Diploma of Digital Technology based in South Australia is funded by the State and Federal governments. “Our partnership with Flinders University means we will upskill shipbuilders on the latest in Industry 4.0 technologies and techniques, benefiting not only the Hunter Class Frigate Program but the broader shipbuilding industry,” Lockhart said. “Flinders has responded very well to the COVID-19 situation and converted most of the tuition to online which is embracing the new technologies that we will require in a modern data-rich shipyard.” Training is also being supported by TAFE SA and the Naval Shipbuilding College with a focus on building the world’s most advanced digital shipyard in South Australia. “We are delighted to once again be partnering with ASC Shipbuilding to apply our research […]