Port of Portland connects LGSC to the world
Think global, act local was brought to life during the Taking an Industry Perspective Leadership Great South Coast (LGSC) Program Day at the Port of Portland. The grand setting of one of Victoria’s major international ports and the range of local manufacturing, energy and trade speakers allowed participants to reflect on the interplay between the major gains from international trade and the value of supporting domestic production and labour.
Steve Garner, Executive Director of Keppel Prince Engineering and Chair of the Committee for Portland, gave us a clear-eyed perspective on the strong business case for increased investment in renewable energy production and grid upgrades in Victoria and nationally. He also spoke passionately about the need for businesses to look beyond the mere dollar amount when deciding where and how to source materials and labour. Steve believes strongly in the numerous benefits and positive flow-on effects of sourcing labour and inputs locally. This strong ethic has clearly guided Steve well through his long and successful career as an engineer and founder of a manufacturing powerhouse.
Ailiche Goddard-Clegg and Loren Tuck from Deakin Hycel, a ground-breaking hydrogen research centre at Deakin University in Warrnambool, opened our minds to the huge potential of hydrogen energy use in Australia. Like most Australians, hydrogen energy was a fairly new idea for the LGSC group and not one typically included in the clean energy discussion. Ailiche and Loren helped dispel some of the confusion around the different types of ‘green’, ‘blue’, ‘brown’, ‘fuchsia’ and ‘rainbow’ hydrogen, and got us thinking about how hydrogen could transform how we power the transport and gas industries of the future. It was also exciting to hear that Warrnambool is leading Australia’s hydrogen research and innovation, creating new local education and employment opportunities and strengthen the Great South Coast economy.
In the closing discussion of the day, participants expressed how disconnected they felt from the world of manufacturing, trade and energy production because they work in disparate industries. We were reminded by our Executive Officer that every industry relies on products and services delivered by essential manufacturing industries. Therefore, all our purchasing decisions in our professional and personal lives have flow-on effects throughout the supply chain and can be an implicit vote for domestic or international manufacturing, jobs and investment.
Thank you to the Port of Portland for hosting us and to all the speakers that gave up their time informing and inspiring the LGSC participants – Scott Hamilton Panel Member, Australian-German Energy Transition Hub and Senior Advisor, Hydrogen Australia, Smart Energy Council, Greg Tremewen, CEO Port of Portland, Steve Garner, Executive Director Keppel Prince Engineering, Mark Riley, Financial Controller Portland Aluminum, Ailiche Goddard-Clegg, Hycel Communications and Engagement Coordinator, and Loren Tuck, Hycel Project Officer at Deakin University,
LGSC 2021 Program Participant Heather Smillie