New manufacturing partnership unveiled

Michelle Slater

The Victorian government is providing $3.8 million to develop new bio-manufacturing opportunities in a partnership between Australian Paper and Federation University and Federation Training.

The BioPathways Partnership Project will develop industry-led opportunities for research, training and development for manufacturing from by-products created at the Maryvale mill.

Participants will have the opportunity to take part in workplace learning, accredited courses, professional development and research programs.

Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney was at Australian Paper on Wednesday to launch the program.

Ms Tierney said the initiative will make Australian Paper more sustainable into the future and create jobs, as well as creating opportunities for displaced Hazelwood workers.

“This a ground breaking initiative that is home grown with Federation Training and Federation University, in lock-step with Australian Paper to deliver the best possible outcomes,” she said.

Ms Tierney said she was unable to confirm how many jobs would be created from the project until the exact processes were locked in.

Australian Paper general communications manager Craig Dunn said bio-manufacturing opportunities were offered from organic chemicals and fibres found within wood.

He said products could include a range of renewable chemicals, replacement plastics or carbon-fibre products.

For more on this story, see tomorrow’s paper.