Last week, Geofabrics Australasia welcomed the Honourable Glenn Butcher, Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and the Minister for Water to our production facility in Ormeau as part of an Industry Day to showcase Geofabrics’ initiatives in addressing coastal erosion through global warming and the containment of PFAS and other emerging contaminants in Australia and abroad.
Minister Butcher congratulated the Geofabrics team on hosting such a fantastic event that showcased the innovative products being manufactured locally.
“It’s always great to meet a local manufacturer, especially one as innovative and entrepreneurial as the team at Geofabrics.”
“The Queensland Government is proud to support local manufacturers with two major grant schemes – the Made in Queensland and the Manufacturing Hubs Grants Programs, to help our local businesses continue to expand and grow.” he said.
“Geofabrics is a previous Made in Queensland grant recipient and, with our support, this business has been significantly boosted, creating jobs and contributing to the local economy,” Mr Butcher said.
Geofabrics has a long history in supplying the Elcorock Geotextile Sand Containers into countries such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, and our Pacific neighbours who are experiencing significant climate change challenges with rising sea levels, extreme storms and the threat of flooding which place these communities at risk. Many of these countries have a maximum elevation of 2 to 3 metres and rising sea levels create risk to human health, agriculture and food security. Geofabrics has been supplying coastal protection solutions such as the Elcorock Geotextile Sand Containers into the Pacific for over 20 years.
During his Industry Day opening address, Geofabrics CEO and Managing Director, Dennis Grech commented “Geofabrics welcomes the Federal Government’s economic support into the Pacific for climate change – a responsible and appropriate action to take. But would it not be wonderful if this Australian aid funding requires some preference and priority to Australian made coastal solutions? Providing aid money and not linking that aid money to supporting Australian manufacturers is an oversight. If its Australian funded, then use Australian products. It’s simple. It’s not about Geofabrics; but it is about supporting Australian jobs. Australian aid money into the Pacific to then deploy low quality, low specification foreign made products hurts all of us, more so the people we are seeking to help, our Pacific neighbours.”
The Industry Day also showcased Geofabrics’ progress with Sorbseal, a hybrid Geosynthetic Clay Liner (GCL) which works as a barrier to liquids and helps trap a wide range of contaminants, including PFAS in mining, defence and waste and containment applications.
Geofabrics was recently a recipient to the Made In Queensland (MIQ) Advanced Manufacturing Grant which accelerated the local R&D and production for Sorbseal. Dennis Grech makes further comment “Sorbseal is a game-changer in the containment of PFAS and the containment of other emerging contaminants, demonstrating everything that is great about Australian R&D and innovation. It also demonstrates industry and government coming together to create a unique and highly engineered Australian made product.” Sorbseal has been recognised with Geofabrics being awarded the 2021 Australian Financial Review (AFR) Award for Australia’s Most Innovative Company in the Manufacturing and Consumer Goods Category.
At the Industry Day, Geofabrics announced it will be investing further in its Environmental Solutions capability to assist customers solve complex environmental problems by using Australian-made geosynthetics into mine rehabilitation, land remediation and revegetation applications. There are around 200 Australian mines which are projected to close over the next 10 years and there are at least 50,000 mines with legacy environmental issues in Australia, and a further 200 major mines currently in care and maintenance.
As Dennis Grech in his closing remarks adds, “Our geosynthetic solutions include a range of products that are carbon-friendly relative to conventional materials. You do not need to move hundreds or thousands of tonnes of soil, using fuel guzzling heavy machinery. We provide a solution that de-carbonises mine activity and then add local content, local employment, recycled content, local supply chains, local R&D, local design, that is the art of manufacturing in the 21st Century. And that is the Geofabrics story. With the right mix of private investment and government support for Australian manufacturing, we can do great things. Our product solutions, Elcorock and Sorbseal are certainly evidence of that.”