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Advanced Manufacturing and Defence Industries – 3D Printing and the Circular Economy

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Tags: Waste, Trade

Dr WOODRUFF - Europe is showing the way in terms of looking at sovereign capability as a block. They are also aware of the vulnerabilities of trade markets for many reasons. We are not wanting to cut Tasmania off from Australia, of course, but we do have capacities you have outlined. As we need to move towards a circular economy where we're using raw materials, is there any investigation, as European countries are all doing, into looking at existing landfill sites and mining those for materials, capability and looking at creating raw products that could be used on-island to generate production of advanced manufacturing items? In other words, we have 3D printing capabilities now but the materials for those typically have to be imported. Is there any investigation into generating that product?

Mr ROCKLIFF - Value-adding further? Excuse me if I don't get all the companies exactly right, there is a tailings dam on the west coast, a [inaudible] tailings deposit, in the last 18 months and others before, you are talking about reusing the tailings?

Dr WOODRUFF - That's one source

Mr ROCKLIFF - But not exporting that raw product once it is processed overseas but seeing what we can do here in our advanced manufacturing capability to value add to it even further?

Dr WOODRUFF - Yes, using it on-island for material that could be used for 3D printing of ultimately machines or other finer products. This is what Europe is doing. They are investigating it. It is a future market.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I will never dismiss an idea such as that. I am not sure.

Dr WOODRUFF - Not there yet?

Mr ROCKLIFF - Well, there are a lot of innovative and smart people within Tasmania who could bend their mind to something of this nature already.

Dr WOODRUFF - I'll leave it with you and it is something you can investigate. There are many smart people. Brad Masham from Tasmania did a Churchill Fellowship and travelled Europe looking at some of these matters and has brought his skills back to Tasmania. We are a warehouse for resource and capability. We are already ahead of other states in lots of these areas so it is about joining the dots together. There are real opportunities for us.

Mr ROCKLIFF - The opportunities for us more globally when you look nationally and statewide, awaken to what the opportunities could be to support our sovereign capability further. Most Tasmanians were understandably anxious around the time of the pandemic and the unknown of that, particularly in accessing PPE and those sorts of things. I don't think you would find too many Tasmanians who would not want to support and expand our local manufacturing base to support us in times of critical need, such as we have been demonstrating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are a lot of opportunities in Tasmania and I think it is a good thing to explore but I don't have a lot of knowledge around 3D printer materials and those sorts of things.