December 2019

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Wide Bay: turning small mines into big opportunities

The first regional meeting of the Wide-Bay Burnett Resources Group (WBBRG) in October brought together resources sector leaders, local council, government departments, project advocates and industry groups.

‘Taking advantage of developing projects in the Wide Bay-Burnett region’s mining sector will benefit not only the economy, but also the community.’

That was the message TIQ Global Investment Commissioner Ross Buchanan delivered during his presentation at the first regional meeting of the Wide-Bay Burnett Resources Group (WBBRG) in October.

The meeting at the Bundaberg Multiplex Centre brought together resource sector leaders, local council members, government representatives, project advocates and industry groups.

Mr Buchanan attended the meeting to give a presentation on global partnerships and progressing foreign direct investments into local mining projects.

He said the meeting was a good first step towards bolstering support for mining operations in the region.

‘While the region is well known for its agriculture, there’s the potential to establish an even greater mining industry here as well,’ he said.

‘But to do that we need to support the smaller mines to create a “critical mass” in the region.

‘That will help not only help to attract spending on infrastructure, but also make it a more attractive proposition for providers of mining equipment, technology and services.

‘As North Burnett mayor Councillor Rachel Chambers has said, “Small mining projects are large regional opportunities”.’

The WBBRG, which normally meets in Brisbane, travelled to the region to help group members understand the region and the logistical issues faced by local mining companies.

Before meeting, they joined a site visits program coordinated by the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDMIP), supported by TIQ Bundaberg.

The tour took the visitors to a range of local projects, including the Evolution Mining and Sunstate Sands mines to hear about their experiences operating in the region firsthand.

After the meeting, the group visited the Port of Bundaberg, where Gladstone Ports Corporation manager Jason Pascoe updated them on infrastructure progress and site capacity for new mining projects, and tourism infrastructure projects.

The WBBRG was established in conjunction with DSDMIP to facilitate expansion of the mining sector in the Wide Bay–Burnett region.

Mineral resources are identified as one of Queensland’s major export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Populous named Australian Exporter of the Year

Queensland-based global design firm Populous has been named 2019 Australian Exporter of the Year at the Australian Export Awards in Canberra.

Queensland-based global design firm Populous has been named 2019 Australian Exporter of the Year at the Australian Export Awards in Canberra.

Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated the firm, saying every Queenslander should be proud of the national win.

‘They are known internationally for their amazing design work in creating spaces that allow people to gather,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.

‘That includes our very own Suncorp Stadium right here in Brisbane, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London and the Yankee Stadium in New York.

‘The win is certainly well deserved and is another part of the great Queensland export story.’

Populous is one of the largest architectural firms in the world and generates around 80% of its income from exports.

Over the past 2 decades, the company has expanded into overseas markets and is now considered a standout example of Australia’s growing services sector.

Populous also won the Professional Services Award at the national awards.

Queensland exports support 1 in 5 Queensland jobs and are a key part of the state’s economy.

The state has around 7,300 goods-exporting companies, of which 40% are based in regional Queensland. Queensland sold more than $87 billion worth of goods to the world last financial year.

Populous earned their place as a finalist at the national awards after winning the Professional Services category at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards in October.

The national awards were held in Canberra on 3 December.

The Queensland Government supports local exporters through the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022, a whole-of-government strategy led by TIQ.

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Bakso balls and avocado time-machines in Indonesia

Everything from quality beef to an avocado time-machine were on the agenda when Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner visited Jakarta in October.

Everything from quality beef to an avocado time-machine were on the agenda when Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner visited Jakarta in October.

Mr Furner was supported during his visit by TIQ Indonesia, which arranged a packed program of meetings and site visits for the Minister.

These included a roundtable discussion with beef and horticulture importers, and a series of visits to local businesses who are already partnering with Queensland suppliers.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Indonesia Ben Giles said it was a productive trip, with the Minister reinforcing existing relationships and exploring new opportunities for Queensland exporters.

‘The Minister’s program included a visit to Ranch Supermarket in Jakarta to see Queensland products on the shelves – including beef, oranges, blueberries, lemons, Capilano honey and Bundaberg Brewed Drinks,’ Mr Giles said.

‘He also visited PT Total Food Indonesia, which imports quality frozen beef from Queensland to make 250,000 bakso meatballs a day.

‘PT Total Food also uses a specialist avocado-ripening machine manufactured by Naturo Technologies on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, fondly known as the “avocado time machine”.

‘It was a great chance for the Minister to see the strong ties that already exist and the potential for new partnerships in what is one of Queensland’s strongest growth markets.’

The Minister travelled on from Indonesia to Singapore, where he attended a Taste Queensland dinner featuring Queensland produce such as Five Founders beef, Borrowdale pork, Koala Karma drinks and Human Bean healthy snacks.

The dinner was arranged by TIQ ASEAN and gave local business leaders an opportunity to taste quality Queensland produce.

Indonesia was Queensland’s sixth-largest individual export market in the 2018–19 financial year, while exports from Queensland to all ASEAN countries (including Indonesia) increased by 56.5% from the previous financial year.

Strengthening Queensland’s presence in Indonesia and other ASEAN markets is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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ALS a winner in any language

Winning the International Education and Training Award at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards capped off a great year for Brisbane-based company Australian Language School (ALS).

Winning the International Education and Training Award at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards capped off a great year for Brisbane-based company Australian Language School (ALS).

And ALS principal Neil Preston says he got much more out of the night than just the winner’s trophy.

‘It was great to talk to other finalists, even those competing in the other categories,’ Mr Preston said.

‘They helped me think in different directions and keep my ideas fresh.

‘That alone was worth its weight in gold.’

Recognised as one of Brisbane’s best language schools, ALS provides English-language intensive courses and vocational education and training courses to overseas students.

Founded in 2007, it uses an innovative approach and advanced technologies while meeting strong regulatory frameworks and accreditation.

And the results speak for themselves.

In the past 10 years it has achieved 4-digit growth, and is expected to achieve double-digit growth each year from here on in.

In 2018–19, it achieved $10.9 million in export sales to education markets such as Korea, Taiwan, Japan, China, Brazil and Colombia, with 3,503 new enrolments and 2,662 new students beginning their studies.

Mr Preston has worked as a teacher for more than 15 years, and joined the ALS team in 2008.

‘Now I’m kind of like a piece of furniture around here,’ he said.

ALS was one of 16 winners announced at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Gala on 10 October in Brisbane. Along with other category winners, it will now compete in the Australian Export Awards in Canberra on 3 December.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

See the full gallery of photographs from the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Gala.

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Sky’s the limit for award-winning HeliMods

You’ve probably seen footage of a helicopter winching someone to safety from a cliff face or other inaccessible area. Well, there’s every chance the helicopter was fitted out for the role by Sunshine Coast’s HeliMods.

You’ve probably seen footage of a helicopter winching someone to safety from a cliff face or other inaccessible area.

Well, there’s every chance the helicopter was fitted out for the role by Sunshine Coast’s HeliMods.

The Caloundra-based company specialises in fitting out aircraft for specialist roles including medical rescue, aerial policing and firefighting.

They’re known across Australia and now around the world, with a recent export award to prove it.

Helicopters arrive at HeliMods’ world-class facility from Europe as a basic shell and are then fitted out with whatever’s needed for their specialist role such as custom-designed floors, ceilings, oxygen, avionics systems and stretchers.

This process can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the role and how much customisation is needed.

But, as HeliMods’ Head of Strategic Engagement and Special Projects Sandra Arico points out, this Queensland company has the world-class skills required for even the most complex jobs.

‘We have an incredible team of young and dynamic people here at HeliMods with different technical, commercial and design-based disciplines,’ Ms Arico said.

‘And together they’ve been able to solve some of the most complex industry problems through innovation and having access to the latest technology.

‘Our founder and Managing Director Will Shrapnel has always been forward-thinking, and understood very early on how digital technologies could be used to scale the business and have a unique impact in the market.

‘It’s that mindset, and those early investments in people and technology, that have paved the way for us to succeed in the market the way we do today.’

Mr Shrapnel started HeliMods as a sole operator in 2002.

The company now employs around 40 people, and exports its technology and services to organisations in North America, Europe, Asia and even Antarctica.

Global markets are a growing part of the HeliMods business, with export earnings now making up close to 50% of its revenue.

Mr Shrapnel said the company was proud to win the Regional Exporter category at the export awards.

‘The Shrapnel family has a connection to the Sunshine Coast dating back over 100 years, which made winning Regional Exporter of the Year at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards particularly special for the company,’ he said.

‘My grandfather, Geoff Shrapnel, was one of the first in the region to receive a national export award back in the 60s through his work with local business Buderim Ginger.

‘He was instrumental in turning the business around through exporting and developing it into what is now a globally recognised brand.

‘So carrying on the family tradition through HeliMods and representing our region on the national and global stage is pretty special.

‘Our business is a great example of how technology can be used to access global markets from anywhere in the world.’

Mr Shrapnel encouraged other regional businesses to enter the awards.

‘I’d absolutely encourage new innovators from the regions to put themselves out there through the export awards program.

‘It’s a great opportunity to showcase their amazing achievements and to gain important recognition for the hard work and commitment that is required to compete in global markets.’

HeliMods was one of 16 winners announced at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Gala on 10 October in Brisbane. They will now compete along with other Queensland category winners in the Australian Export Awards in Canberra on 3 December.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

See the full gallery of photographs from the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Gala.

November 2019

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New drone-testing facility for Cloncurry

In an Australian first, a $14.5 million drone flight-testing facility will be built at Cloncurry Airport, bringing high-tech industry and more jobs to North West Queensland.

In an Australian first, a $14.5 million drone flight-testing facility will be built at Cloncurry Airport, bringing high-tech industry and more jobs to North West Queensland.

Funded by the Queensland Government, it will test small-to-medium sized drones weighing 30–150 kilograms and is expected to attract clients from across Australia and around the world.

Announcing the new facility, Minister for State Development and Minister responsible for the Queensland Drones Strategy Cameron Dick said construction was scheduled to begin in early 2020.

‘Our government was the first in Australia to launch a drone strategy, and now we’re well on the way to becoming the nation’s drone technology capital,’ he said.

‘We have secured the world’s largest aerospace group, The Boeing Company, to be the first to conduct trials at the facility, creating an exciting new aerospace industry for the region.’

Boeing Director of Phantom Works International Shane Arnott said the company was looking forward to using the flight facility to safely and securely test the latest advances in autonomous systems technology.

‘The creation of what will be one of the world’s largest commercial unmanned flight test facilities is critical to establishing Australia as a global leader in autonomous technology,’ Dr Arnott said.

The Queensland Government will invest $14.5 million in the first stage of the facility, which will be built on airport land and include a hangar, operation room and surveillance radar and communications equipment. Construction is expected to create 65 local jobs, with further economic benefits over the long term.

Mr Dick said during the facility’s initial stages of operation drones would make test flights over short distances of up to 25 kilometres along a designated flight path away from built-up areas.

Queensland is already recognised as a global drone hotspot, with Brisbane hosting the World of Drones Congress for the past 3 years and Logan chosen as one of the first international sites for a drone-delivery trial.

Western Queensland’s potential as a drone testbed has also been promoted through the Outback Aerodrone Symposium, held in Barcaldine in 2018 and 2019.

TIQ has brought overseas delegations to the Barcaldine event both years, with TIQ Japan staff accompanying representatives from high-tech Japanese companies on a mission to this year’s symposium.

Promoting Queensland’s potential as a location for drone research, development and testing was a focus of the trip.

The aerospace sector is identified as an emerging export priority in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Export Connections: find your ‘next big thing’

Export Connections workshops include real-life case studies as well as short, sharp brainstorming sessions where participants share their business challenges and get advice from their peers.

You never know how far a new business connection could take you – but you have to make the connection to find out.

That’s the message from 2 Queensland business owners who met at a TIQ Lock Jaw Ladder Grip met experienced businessman Manny Gerasimou.

Gail, relatively new to the world of exporting, was delighted to receive tips from Manny, while Manny saw a good product that would work for a number of his business connections.

Gail said the 2-hour workshop represented great value for her company, which manufactures a unique patented device that prevents ladders from moving by locking them to roof gutters.

‘We’re a family business that has been operating for around 10 years, but it was only about 12 months ago that we decided to really focus on the business and on expanding into new markets,’ she said.

‘When we made that decision, I moved from my previous role outside the company to become General Manager.

‘I’ve worked in global corporate companies for 25 years, but not in sales and marketing, so I’ve really had to learn a lot myself.

‘It was great to meet Manny – he’s had a long time in business and he was able to give me his insights and advice on how to promote our product.’

Manny has had more than 3 decades of diverse business experience in hospitality, manufacturing, business development, exporting and more. He currently wears a number of hats in different businesses, including as Special Projects Lead with Planet Ark Power.

Manny said he was pleased to share his tips and contacts with Gail, and also saw potential synergies between some of his business contacts and Lock Jaw Ladder Grip’s innovative product.

‘To succeed in business, you have to put your head up, have a look around and engage with other people with similar and different skill sets,’ he said.

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop, this notion of collaboration.

‘For me, meeting Gail, it’s an opportunity to work with someone good, and I’ve been able to put her in touch with people who can take some units from her.

‘I also went to the workshop with the goal of identifying new investment leads for Planet Ark Power, and I achieved what I set out to do on that front as well.

‘It’s all about relationships.’

Gail, who’s benefited from attending a variety of business workshops in the past year, agrees.

‘Building relationships is the most important thing,’ she said.

‘You don’t know where it’s going to lead.

‘It could be your next big thing.’

The Lock Jaw Ladder Grip company invented and now manufactures a patented ladder safety device, which is sold to domestic and corporate customers in Australia, the USA and Europe, including the Swedish fire brigade and large US insurance companies.

Planet Ark Power is a leading renewable energy company providing clean-energy solutions to help businesses and organisations reduce electricity costs and adopt more sustainable energy practices.

Providing training to help Queensland SMEs become export-ready is an action under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

The next free Export Connections workshop will be held at Alexandra Headland on Thursday 12 December. It will include a business collaboration session and a presentation by Sunshine Coast businesswoman Sandra Gosling, founder of the COYO dairy-free yoghurt company, a Queensland export award winner.

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Australia-Korea energy futures: stronger together

Industry leaders, policymakers and key decision-makers discussed the future of energy and the implications for the Australia-Korea relationship at the recent 40th AKBC-KABC Joint Meeting in Sydney.

Industry leaders, policymakers and key decision-makers discussed the future of energy and the implications for the Australia-Korea relationship at the recent 40th AKBC-KABC Joint Meeting in Sydney.

The annual joint meeting of the Australia-Korea Business Council (AKBC) and the Korea-Australia Business Council (KABC) is the premier event for those involved in Australia-Korea trade and investment.

This year’s event attracted more than 200 delegates, including a large business delegation from Korea led by Jeong-Woo Choi, Chairman of the Korea-Australia Business Council and Chairman of POSCO, which is the world’s fourth-largest largest steelmaker and Australia’s single largest corporate customer. The meeting was hosted by the Hon. Simon Crean, Chairman of the Australia-Korea Business Council.

Also in attendance were Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Korea and AKBC Board Member Daniel Kim, and TIQ Senior Advisor Michael Kocken.

Mr Kim chaired the meeting’s first plenary session on the ‘Future of Energy’, which focused on hydrogen. It featured experts from Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, EY, Hanwha Energy, Hyundai Motor Company, Macquarie Capital and POSCO Research Institute.

Mr Kim said that Queensland has helped Korea tackle its energy and resource security challenge for decades with a reliable supply of hard coking coal for steelmaking, base metals and LNG, and that hydrogen presented new opportunities for partnerships.

‘The future of hydrogen is now,’ Mr Kim said.

‘There is renewed interest and a shared commitment between Australia and Korea to cooperate to advance the global hydrogen economy for mutual benefit.

‘In January this year, Korea released its Hydrogen Economy Roadmap of Korea, which outlines a plan to increase the production of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to 6.2 million, increase the number of hydrogen refilling stations to 1,200 and boost the supply of fuel-cell power generation to 15 gigawatts – all by 2040.

‘This will generate demand for 5.3 million tonnes of hydrogen, with 1.2 million tonnes needing to be imported, which creates a tremendous opportunity Queensland.’

Mr Kim said Queensland was also actively engaging with the global hydrogen economy.

‘The Queensland Government has released the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy, which aims to put Queensland at the forefront of renewable hydrogen production in Australia by 2030, and is funding a number of green hydrogen development projects,’ he said.

‘A senior Korean delegation led by Korean Congressman Won-Wook Lee visited Queensland as part of an Australian tour in August this year to explore the opportunities to collaborate in relation to hydrogen.

‘It was a great privilege to chair the panel discussion in Sydney and help advance those conversations.’

Korea is Queensland’s third-largest trading partner, and merchandise exports to Korea increased by 19.9% to be worth $9.5 billion in 2018–2019.

Renewables and biofuels are identified as a growing export market in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

TIQ was a proud silver sponsor of the 40th AKBC-KABC Joint Meeting.

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India and Queensland tackle mine challenges together

Queensland companies ranging from training providers to geotechnical experts joined a trade mission to India in November to promote Queensland’s mining equipment, technology and services (METS) expertise.

Queensland companies ranging from training providers to geotechnical experts joined a trade mission to India in November to promote Queensland’s mining equipment, technology and services (METS) expertise.

The mission was led by TIQ in conjunction with Simtars, the Queensland Government’s Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station.

The mission travelled first to Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana, where they attended the ‘Challenges 2020 and Beyond’ mini-summit, along with more than 40 decision-makers from Indian governments and mining companies.

The summit discussed challenges facing mining companies in India and Queensland, and ways to overcome them.

The seminar was followed by high-level talks with leaders at India’s National Mineral Development Corporation and Singareni Collieries Company Limited.

The delegation then attended the International Mining Equipment, Minerals and Metals Exhibition (IME) in Kolkata, where more than 400 exhibitors from more than 25 countries showcased their expertise in mining machinery, technology, processing and research.

Queensland was represented by 12 companies, which made up 75% of Australia’s presence at the event.

The exhibition gave delegates the opportunity to meet with major mining companies and supply-chain providers at the Queensland Government booth hosted by TIQ and Simtars, and discuss collaboration opportunities directly with Indian companies showcasing at the event.

The booth showcased Queensland’s world-leading METS capabilities, including virtual-reality training initiatives.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for India Gitesh Agarwal said Queensland’s experienced METS providers had much to contribute to India’s mining sector.

‘The mission demonstrated Queensland’s commitment to making a difference to India’s changing mining sector,’ Mr Agarwal said.

‘India needs Queensland’s expertise in areas such as exploration and processing, mine planning, geotechnical, safety, underground mining, education and training, and environmental management.

‘It was an excellent learning experience for everyone involved, and we’re expecting 3–4 outcomes for the various companies at the event.’

Post-mission visits included the Indian Institute of Coal Management in Ranchi and the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Delhi to discuss upcoming training programs in Australia.

Simtars staff also took the opportunity to meet with the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad, where they discussed a spontaneous combustion laboratory and 360-degree virtual-reality training environment being installed there.

TIQ has been hosting India-related inbound visits for the past 18 months, and is actively working on other METS trade opportunities for Queensland businesses in India, including opportunities for fuel-saving power units, geotechnical monitoring, dust suppression, conveyor technologies and more.

In November 2018, the Queensland Government released the Queensland-India Trade and Investment Strategy 2018–2023, which aims to deliver a $1.5 billion trade boost to the state’s economy and make it easier for Queenslanders to do business in India.

The Queensland-India Trade and Investment Strategy is the first country-specific trade and investment strategy developed as part of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Companies participating in the mission

 

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Award-winning Circa an international star

One of Queensland’s most unusual exports is also one of its most successful, with Brisbane’s Circa Contemporary Circus taking its talents to 40 countries – more than any other Australian arts company.

One of Queensland’s most unusual exports is also one of its most successful, with Brisbane’s Circa Contemporary Circus taking its talents to 40 countries – more than any other Australian arts company.

Circa travelled over 3.7 million kilometres around the world last year to perform to more than 150,000 people, and was named Queensland’s top Creative Industries exporter at the recent Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards.

Circa Executive Director Shaun Comerford said 2018 was a milestone year for the company, which first toured overseas in 2006 and has now performed everywhere from London’s famed Barbican Centre to New York’s Lincoln Centre and theatres across Europe, Asia and the USA.

‘In December 2018 we became the first Australian arts company to tour to a fortieth country – Slovenia,’ Mr Comerford said.

‘We tour more than any other Australian arts company and we’re helping to put Brisbane on the map internationally for its circus culture.

‘Most people wouldn’t know this but, in the international performing arts community, Brisbane is considered the Number 2 circus city in the world after Montreal.

‘We’re proud to be part of that, along with other great Queensland circus troupes like Company 2 and Casus.’

Mr Comerford said receiving the export award was a welcome acknowledgement for the entire Circa team.

‘It’s great. It’s a really wonderful acknowledgement of a lot of hard work right across the company,’ he said.

‘Being commended for what we’ve done globally is really exciting, and it’s appreciated across the board, from our admin and production staff to our acrobats.

‘We were part of an incredibly strong field and just to be a finalist was a real honour.’

Mr Comerford said Circa’s ensemble of 20 would continue to perform in festivals, venues and theatres around the world in coming months.

‘We employ more performers than any other physical theatre company in Australia, and we have 3 or 4 companies on the road at any one time,’ he said.

‘In the next 18 months, there won’t be a week where there isn’t a Circa performance somewhere in the world.’

Circa was one of 16 winners announced at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Gala on 10 October in Brisbane. The export awards are coordinated by TIQ.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

See the full gallery of photographs from the Awards Gala.