18 June 2020 - Federation Chamber
Mr DICK (Oxley) (11:29): I'm really pleased to see that businesses are moving forward and adapting new ways as they change their business models as a result of COVID-19. Small businesses and manufacturing businesses of the Oxley electorate are the backbone of our economy, and as a proud supporter of local small businesses, and having grown up in one myself, I'm really pleased to address the parliament today to advise the House of a wonderful local manufacturing group in the Oxley electorate, Graphene Manufacturing Group. I recently visited their headquarters, based in Sumner in the Oxley electorate, along with my hardworking state member, the member for Mount Ommaney, Ms Jess Pugh.
GMG, a cleantech manufacturing company, commenced in 2016. With international experiences in oil and gas, the company founder set an ambitious target of manufacturing graphene from Queensland natural gas—a bold attempt, as the original discovery of graphene came from slicing layers of graphite from mining. Graphene, discovered only in 2004, is the world's first two-dimensional material, made up of atomic layers of carbon. Graphene's discovery went on to win a Nobel Prize for physics in 2010 for two professors from the University of Manchester. Since the Nobel Prize there has been an explosion of research in this wonderful material, with over 10,000 academic papers.
GMG's main funding has predominantly come from private investors from Australia, Canada and Europe. Using predominantly overseas funding, they are based in Sumner Park. GMG is the self-proclaimed graphene gateway, and it's made an enormous impact across the academic and advanced manufacturing landscape in various countries around the world, especially in Australia. Whilst engaging with various world-leading international companies, GMG continues to financially support numerous Australian university research projects, including the QUT Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation; a partnership between the Royal Brisbane Hospital's Herston Biofabrication Institute and QUT; an ARC funded University of Queensland project to make aluminium ion batteries; and the ARC Linkage Program with the University of Queensland to make potassium and sodium ion batteries using Queensland agricultural waste from sorghum and macadamia nuts. In total, GMG is collaborating with over 11 local and international universities.
This is a world success story based in the south-west of Brisbane. I was so pleased to be able to sit down with the team based in Sumner to understand exactly what their company is providing: local jobs and clean new forms of energy to support a growing sector. I commend them to the House today.