The head of Australia’s national representative group for resources and energy employers will today unveil a comprehensive blueprint for reforming the country’s failing workplace laws. Abolishing the over-complicated awards system, capping compensation for ‘Adverse Action’ claims, revitalising enterprise bargaining and new individual agreement making options, are all key themes of AMMA Chief Executive Steve Knott’s wide-ranging address to the Brisbane Club today. Mr Knott says it is incumbent upon both the Morrison Government and the Federal Opposition to “do better” on productivity and employment-boosting workplace reforms. “As Australia edges closer to the 2022 Federal Election we are in an eerily familiar position. Once again, the Coalition is not proposing any meaningful industrial relations reforms, focusing instead on the economically damaging IR policies of the Opposition, such as abolishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission,” Mr Knott says. “Meanwhile, the ALP and the ACTU have seemingly dusted off the playbook from the ‘Change the Rules’ campaign and are pushing the same divisive, protectionist policies that failed to grab the attention of anyone outside of the union campaign bubble three years ago.” Mr Knott says the major parties should take to the Federal Election workplace policies that promote best practice in employee relations, workplace culture and people management. Referencing AMMA’s Employment Charter, he says responsibility is on policymakers to provide laws that support the competitiveness of Australian enterprise and reflect the contemporary nature of work. “We believe Australia’s industrial relations system should provide a clear safety net with world-class minimum standards and conditions that can be easily understood and adhered to by all,” Mr Knott says. “It should also provide options for employers and employees to negotiate and engage in employment relationships individually and/or collectively, with or without third party representation. “Individuals, especially those in high paying employment, should have real options […]
-Steven Hail, Adjunct Associate Professor, Torrens University Australia A decade ago, and years before Treasurer Josh Frydenberg promised a budget that was “back in the black”, Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised the same thing. At that time, in the lead-up to the 2012 budget, unemployment was higher than it is today, and inflation and wages growth were so low (1.6% and 2.3%, respectively) as to provide no impediment whatsoever to cutting unemployment further. Yet Gillard was resolute in her determination to bring in a budget surplus, by which she meant a budget that spent less than it took in. She titled her speech to Western Australia’s Chamber Of Commerce and Industry and Chamber Of Minerals And Energy “In the Black” There was “no clearer sign of a strong economy than a surplus”. It would “protect jobs”, provide a “buffer in case the global economy gets worse”, and allow the Reserve Bank to cut rates, “knowing that an interest rate reduction is good for families and business”. Indeed, she added: …let me make this clear once and for all: a budget surplus is not a political target but a potent economic tool. I sometimes wonder whether she remembers this claim. I nearly asked her once, crossing North Terrace in Adelaide, but I chickened out. As with Gillard, so with Abbott Gillard never did get her budget surplus, and she and Kevin Rudd were followed as prime minister by Tony Abbott, who talked of a “budget emergency” that only a run of surpluses could fix. While in opposition, his finance spokesman Barnaby Joyce had gone as far as to suggest that the debt run up by years of budget deficits (spending more than the government took in) was “getting to a point where we can’t repay it”. That was too much even […]
The University of Adelaide has opened a space technology lab to test equipment bound for the Moon and Mars. The Extraterrestrial Environmental Simulation (Exterres) Laboratory is the first of its kind in Australia and will allow researchers to develop new technologies to withstand the harsh deep space environment. Led by University of Adelaide Associate Professor John Culton, the lab will be used to test equipment such as rovers and materials needed for human exploration. “Understanding how technology will perform when exposed to harsh extra-terrestrial environments is critical to supporting long-term human presence in deep space, specifically the Moon and Mars,” said Culton, who is Professor of Off-Earth Resources and the Director of the Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources. “Space hardware will be tested in the lab’s Regolith Thermal Vacuum Chambers (rTVAC), a nine square metre sealed lunar regolith simulant pit and a 27 square metre sandpit which can be tailored to simulate specific off-world environments.” Culton said the rare rTVACs will allow students, faculty and industry to test equipment in the combined atmospheric, thermal and regolith environments found at the lunar south pole and on Mars. The regolith and sand pits are instrumented using a 3D motion capture system that allows detailed analysis of the capabilities of experimental robotics, either remotely controlled from the Exterres Mission Control. “In addition, the regolith and sand pits are instrumented using a 3D motion capture system that allows detailed analysis of the capabilities of experimental robotics, either remotely controlled from the Exterres Mission Control or operated autonomously,” said Culton said. “Blackout screens and solar light sources can be installed on the pit for trials of computer vision for automated navigation, which is particularly difficult in the off-Earth environment.” The Exterres lab also has a high-power laser, a vacuum furnace, a box furnace and […]
Suhner Australia, a leader in metal finishing solutions, has expanded its range of products and services around metal finishing processes to provide its customers with a total solutions package. In addition to providing Suhner tools, consumables and know-how in the surface finishing of all metals, Suhner Australia is now offering hand tools, annular hole cutters, safety equipment, tapes and glues as well as a tools for hire service. By broadening its range of products and services the company will be able to offer a higher degree of service to meet the needs of its customers. “All of the new products that we have chosen to incorporate in our range are integral to the polishing and finishing of metals regardless of whether they are stainless steel, aluminium, brass or special alloys. The larger product offering will allow us to offer customers a complete solutions package so that we can assist them with any aspect around metal finishing processes. “What’s more, a broader range means that our customers now also have greater choice when it comes to selecting quality hand tools, annular hole cutters, PPE gear, and tapes and glues. “We can also guarantee good availability of our new product range, which will be reassuring for our customers given the critical shortage of products that are being experienced in industry due to disruptive supply chains,” explained Robert Bartrum, General Manager, Suhner Australia. The company’s new hand tool range includes quality European brands such as PB Swiss Tools and Ruko drill bits. Maxisafe will spearhead the company’s range of PPE gear, while tapes and glues will include leading brands such as 3M and Stylus. Complementing Suhner Australia’s wider product range is its new ‘Tools for Hire’ service. The service allows customers to hire metal finishing tools for a “one-off” project, to meet additional […]
At the core of sustainability are cost savings which has led economists and environmentalists to see eye-to-eye on the long-term benefits of sustainable practices in business. RS Components value both the environment and energy conscious design. In addition to their global support of the environment initiatives of Engineers Without Borders, the RS library of accessible consumer materials cover everything from tech-articles to product-selection guides on the most environmentally-economic products on the market. Their commitment to keeping their RS Components customers up-to-date on sustainable product trends compelled them to launch a webinar – Sustainable Technologies in 2022. A panel of experts from the leaders in industry include Schneider Electric, Fluke, Phoenix Contact, ABB and RS PRO who will discuss how business can become more sustainable in operations. Join the Sustainable Technologies in 2022 seminar by clicking on the link below to register: https://nz.rs-online.com/web/generalDisplay.html?id=sustainable-technology&cm_mmc=NZ-PR-_-NZMMAG-_-DTC_203_0322_APAC-_-Sustainability_banner And add this date in your diary: 12PM Thursday 7th April 2022 All attendees who stay until the end of the session will receive a FREE e-Gift Card valued at $20*.
By Lim Jing (Ph.D.) Chief Technology Officer, Osteopore Three dimensional or “3D printing” is an additive manufacturing process that has been around for a while now – but is still guaranteed to attract attention. It produces a physical object from a digital design, and it’s been creating a buzz in the healthcare industry since the 1990s when dental implants and custom prosthetics took off. While there are many different types of 3D printing available, harnessing the technological advantage that 3D printing has over traditional manufacturing techniques is the key to its success. This involves creating a microstructure that is representative of native bone while meeting gross geometrical needs of the reconstruction area. Specifically, making use of the body’s regenerative capacity to rebuild lost tissues and the use of bioresorbable materials in implants leverage the combined technologies of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and 3D printing techniques. 3D printing technology has allowed us to make ground-breaking regenerative implants – our bioresorbable implant is the first of its kind to be successfully developed and commercialised for surgical use, and we see this technology as the way of the future for healthcare. When used appropriately, we find the solutions created with 3D printing regularly outperform traditional implant methods in terms of design and associated long-term healthcare costs. 3D printing allows the creation of complex geometries that copy the shape and function of natural bone and allows efficient productisation particularly in customised implants. Given the complex nature of bone microarchitecture, it is not a matter of course that production can happen at cost effective scale – and 3D manufacturing gives us that option. With improvements to technology, we can go down the path of automation, producing our implants around-the-clock and even remotely; there is a compelling commercial industrial argument for the technology alongside medical […]
A national roadmap to deliver Australia’s new Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standard (IChEMS) is now available. IChEMS will reduce the impacts of industrial chemicals on the environment, protect Australia’s people, and safeguard the value of our land and water. Deputy Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment James Tregurtha said when in place, IChEMS will deliver more consistent regulation of industrial chemicals and make it easier for industry to choose less harmful alternatives. “IChEMS was developed collaboratively by the Australian, state and territory governments working together as part of broader reforms to Australia’s chemicals and waste management,” Mr Tregurtha said. “The roadmap builds on Australia’s partnership approach to chemicals management and recognises that scientists, governments, industry and communities all have a role to play in better management.” “IChEMS will not only support informed choice about chemicals but will also function as a single consistent source of information on how industrial chemicals should be managed in Australia.” Australia’s states and territories are working to adopt and implement IChEMS into their own regulatory frameworks from the end of the year. For more information, and to contribute to this important national reform, go to https://www.awe.gov.au/environment/protection/chemicals-management/national-standard.
Articulated arm robots can travel over six metres, quadrupling their working space: the 7th axis is now compatible with all lightweight articulated arm robots worldwide thanks to a simple Plug & Play kit. So far, models from Universal Robots, Epson and the igus robolink series from Treotham have benefited from this increased mobility. Now Omron, Franka Emika, Doosan, Yuanda Robotics and many other lightweight robotics suppliers are joining the list. The first users of the so-called 7th axis, a linear axis with an electric toothed belt drive that igus launched in 2020, were thrilled according to Alexander Mühlens: “Suddenly, thanks to the additional axis, their articulated arm robots are as mobile as humans. This enables them to take on multiple tasks in automation environments making them significantly more productive,” says the Head of Automation Technology at igus. “We therefore decided to extend the compatibility of the system to all manufacturers worldwide – such as Omron, Franka Emika, Doosan and Yuanda Robotics. With a matching Plug & Play kit of hardware and software we make customisation possible.” Ready-to-connect complete solution for all lightweight articulated arm robots In the future, all lightweight articulated arm robots with a weight range of 10 to 50 kilograms or, depending on the dynamics, a payload of 2 to 20 kilograms can use the 7th axis. Treotham supplies the system as a ready-to-connect complete solution from a single source. It consists of a drylin ZLW toothed belt axis with a length of up to six metres and two parallel rails made of aluminium. These can be mounted on the floor, walls or ceilings and a toothed belt drive with stepper motor for a positioning accuracy of 0.3 millimetres. Also included is: an energy chain for guiding energy and data cables; a switch cabinet integration kit with cables; […]
One of the country’s most successful branded cabling, connector, connectivity and automation system facilitators, LAPP Australia, will introduce major new drag chain cabling and custom engineering services at AUSPACK in Melbourne from May 17-20. The fully fledged Australian branch of the German global leader in cabling and connectivity solutions, LAPP Group, has far more than more than doubled its inventory of locally stocked product lines, from 1,500 to more than 4,000, since setting up in this country just four years ago. LAPP Australia has helped major industries weather the COVID pandemic by securing their supply chains to world-best product through online shop listings growing from 5,000 product listings to over 25,000 products. These cables, connectors, and services are vital to industries and automation/Industry 4.0 for applications including food and beverage, solar and energy, resources and materials handling, primary production and process engineering, acoustics, electrical contracting, water and wastewater, recycling, machine building and automation. Highlights of AUSPACK stand G105 will include the widest range of industrial and electrical cables on the Australian market, including: ÖLFLEX power and control cables SKINTOP cable glands ETHERLINE data communications systems for ETHERNET connections UNITRONIC data cables EPIC Connectors SILVYN robust cable protection and supply systems HITRONIC super-fast fibre-optic cables FLEXIMARK cable marking systems. LAPP will also be displaying its Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) cables, as well as cables specifically designed for high heat or low temperature and refrigerated environments. Complementing this broad range will be Australia’s widest range of drag chain cables. LAPP OLFLEXflexible drag chain cables (also known as energy chain cables) are designed to be used in applications that are constantly moving. They ensure the fail-safe supply of energy, data and impulses and are engineered to guide and protect cabling. Such integrated systems are suitable for automated manufacturing, robotics and industrial manufacturing. […]
John Pye, Associate Professor, School of Engineering, ANU, Australian National University;Alireza Rahbari, Research fellow, School of Engineering, ANU, Australian National University; Emma Aisbett, Fellow, Australian National University;Frank Jotzo, Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy and Head of Energy, Institute for Climate Energy and Disaster Solutions, Australian National University; and Zsuzsanna Csereklyei, Senior Lecturer in Economics, RMIT University. Australia is the world’s number one exporter of both iron ore and metallurgical coal, the key ingredients of traditional steel making. Together, these materials make up a very large part of Australia’s export income. But as the world moves towards net-zero emissions by 2050, the conventional way of making steel, using coal to power a blast furnace, will come under question. Iron and steel production, in total, account for close to 7% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is incompatible with a net-zero world economy, where residual emissions would need to be compensated through carbon dioxide uptake from the atmosphere. The mature technology of coal-fired blast furnaces currently dominates the steel industry, generating 90% of its emissions. For years, decarbonising steel production has been seen as particularly challenging. But now, alternatives to the centuries-old practice of using coal to produce iron and steel are emerging. Researchers have been working on a number of new pathways to make steel with little or no emissions. The most promising process relying on the use of hydrogen. Our new research shows the steel industry can develop and implement green steel production processes to contribute to the great decarbonisation effort needed. For Australia, this presents an enormous new opportunity to future-proof and expand our steel industry as the world acts on climate change. How can we produce green steel? To eliminate emissions from this sector, several things are needed. First, we must use steel efficiently in well-designed structures. Second, we must […]