By Casey Neill
Manufacturers are feeling positive and inspired to invest in the sector’s future, says a Hallam business owner.
Brad Huggett from Rebul Packaging was among three ambassadors in the Casey Cardinia Region display at National Manufacturing Week which was held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 9 to 12 May.
“The National Manufacturing Week is always great fun and inspiring to see growth and innovation in manufacturing in Australia,” he said.
“There is no shortage of great businesses with great products.”
Mr Huggett first participated in the showcase two years ago.
“We had a great response from the last time we were there,” he said.
“We thought there was no reason why we wouldn’t have the same response if not better this time.
“We felt the show was bigger this time and there were more products.
“We feel that there’s a growth in manufacturing around Australia at the moment.
“It’s always inspiring to be around that activity as well.
“There’s definitely a sentiment of positive uplift in manufacturing.
“Just that sentiment I think gives small business a lot of incentive to invest in the future.”
Alongside Rebul and Casey Cardinia Region were Hallam’s Advanced Robotics Australia and Pakenham’s Melbourne Rotomould.
“Two very different businesses to ours obviously, but I think talking to them as well, they’re both making investments for the future and they’re both growing, and they’re both very dynamic businesses,” Mr Huggett said.
“You learn a lot from each other in how you have to keep investing to keep with the times.
“If you just stay the same, you die, basically.”
Casey Cardinia Region, a partnership between the Casey and Cardinia council business teams, showcased the benefits of doing business in the region to generate local jobs for local people.
Its stand was more interactive than in previous years, to stand out among the 230 exhibitors.
The three ambassador businesses contributed a fun element to their space.
Advanced Robotics included a robot programmed to identify and separate visitor’s coins into individual denominations and tally them for donation to the Casey Cardinia Foundation.
Melbourne Rotomould brought along a rotovelo – a three-wheeled vehicle – and encouraged visitors to take a seat and pose for photos.
Rebul’s display included a golf putting simulator manufactured through another of Mr Huggett’s businesses.
“I’m massively encouraged by how it’s going in the area,” he said.
“We’ve been in Hallam for about five years.
“We’ve seen the density of the area grow.”
He said there was more traffic, more occupied business sites and “just an increased level of activity”.
“The Casey and Cardinia councils, they’re just so incredibly supportive and helpful with information for helping you develop and grow as well,” he said.
“We’re still growing, probably at about 25 to 30 per cent a year.
“We’re about to change factories and get a bigger factory.
“Everything’s looking really positive for us.”