Briefcase: Business Snippets from around South Australia

In this week’s briefcase, BHP reports extra capital is required to meet Paris Agreement targets, Maxwell Wines signs a US distribution deal, and Space Machines Company expands its Adelaide mission control centre.

Nov 27, 2023, updated Nov 27, 2023
Olympic Dam at dusk.

Olympic Dam at dusk.

SA records strong economic growth

The South Australian economy has grown at a rate higher than that of all other states, with only the Australian Capital Territory recording higher gross state product growth.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data found the SA GSP grew by 3.8 per cent in 2022-23, beaten only by the ACT at 4.3 per cent growth. Nationally, GDP grew by 3 per cent.

The ABS said South Australian GSP was $134 billion; $5 billion larger than the previous financial year.

Growth was driven by agricultural exports and production as well as total private business investment growth of 10.2 per cent.

Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said South Australia was in a strong position to confront a national economic slowdown.

David Simmons

BHP report: Extra capital required to hit Paris Agreement targets

A new report from mining giant BHP has found an additional $US100 billion in capital per year will be necessary to scale up mineral production in order to deploy new technologies required to meet climate targets.

The Recapturing Australia’s Competitiveness report found widespread deployment of clean energy technologies like renewable energy, nuclear power and battery storage will help the nation achieve its stated aims, but that scaling up of mineral production is necessary as a result.

“Australia has a huge opportunity to capitalise on major change in the world economy driven by the megatrends of decarbonisation, electrification and population growth – but we must be ready and able to compete in the global arena,” BHP president Australia Geraldine Slattery said.

“Many countries are endowed with vast quantities of minerals essential to decarbonisation, and Australia’s global competitors are implementing ambitious policies and investing in technology and skills to capture their share of new capital investment, talent and supply chains.

“Australia needs to encourage major investment in the people, technology and skills required to create a diverse modern economy. More efficient assessment and permitting for major projects, strategic infrastructure and a stable policy environment will encourage global capital to flow to Australia’s shores.”

Estimates suggest up to 140 new copper mines, 60 new nickel mines, 50 new lithium mines and 17 new cobalt mines will be needed by 2030 alone. This equates to a major capital investment – estimated at an additional $US100 billion per year.

Recapturing Australia’s Competitiveness is a proposal for government and industry to work together on a policy agenda that is positive, productive, ambitious, and actionable,” Slattery said.

“It is about acknowledging the reality of our present situation, recognising the urgency of the task, and determining a plan for action.

“We hope this is the beginning of a conversation about how Australia can get ahead and stay ahead.”

Read the full report here.

– David Simmons

Georgia Haenke, Paul Nelson, Will Fuller, Ryan Dunshea, Dan Broadley, Kylie McNamara, Peter Fuller, Kate Fuller. Photo: Supplied.

Adelaide comms agency acquires Sydney’s BrandMatters

South Australian communications agency Fuller has acquired Sydney-based BrandMatters as part of its national expansion and ‘next generation growth strategy’.

Having established a Sydney office in 2021, Fuller said the acquisition would further strengthen its presence across Australia and grow its client base which already includes state government bodies like the SA Tourism Commission.

Established in 2003, BrandMatters is a boutique agency specialising in qualitative and quantitative market research and brand strategy, including messaging and brand identity.

The acquired company works with clients in the finance, banking, IT and insurance sectors.

“As a second-generation independent agency, we are very excited about expanding Fuller’s services on the east coast and adding high-level research and brand strategy from such a well-established and respected business to our portfolio,” Fuller managing director Will Fuller said.

“We are also looking forward to working with BrandMatters’ existing clients to build their businesses, and amplify their brands.”

All BrandMatters staff have been kept on as part of the deal, while communications strategist Kate Fuller has been appointed the company’s agency manager in Sydney.

The price of the deal was undisclosed.

David Simmons

Another multi-million dollar deal for AML3D

The listed 3D printing tech company received a $2.2 million order for its ARCEMY metal printing solution last week – its largest deal for the system to date.

The buyer is US value-added reseller Phillips Corp on behalf of Austal USA for use in a purpose-built advanced manufacturing centre in Charlottsville, Virginia.

It is the second order received from Phillips Corp this year, and will assist the company to adopt advanced manufacturing technologies within a sovereign defence and submarine industrial base.

“This second order by Philips’ over the past few months evidences the success of the reseller agreement with Philips, which provides us with leverage their long-standing relationships with the US Department of Defense and their suppliers, enabling us to accelerate the development of a US ARCEMY sales pipeline to both Navy and its industrial base,” AML3D managing director Sean Ebert said.

“As momentum builds within AML3D’s US scale-up strategy continues to grow, we are seeing the commercial benefits.

“The US is the largest additive manufacturing market in the world and AML3D’s most important growth market. The company remains confident additional contracts in support of the US defense sector will be executed during the financial year.”

David Simmons

Mark and Jeremy Maxwell in their McLaren Vale vineyards. Photo: Supplied.

Maxwell Wines signs new US distribution contract

American importer Domaine & Estates Artisanal Wines, a division of US-based Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, will take South Australia’s Maxwell Wines to the North American market as part of a new distribution deal.

Maxwell Wines founder and owner Mark Maxwell said the contract was a coup not just for the wine label but for “the entire McLaren Vale wine region”.

“We are very proud to be part of a new wave of premium, Australian-produced wines bound for the U.S. market,” Maxwell said.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring a part of this renowned region and its unique terroir characteristics to life for consumers in the U.S.”

A selection of six wines will initially be distributed by Domaine & Estates Artisanal Wines throughout Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Dallas and Miami.

“I see a market for the educated, worldly wine consumers to experiment with the balanced and flavoursome wines coming from Australia,” Domaine & Estates Artisanal Wines senior vice president Laura DePasquale said.

David Simmons

Provenance predicament in Singapore

The Singapore Court of Appeal has cleared the way for the term “Prosecco” to be registered by an Italian trade body as a geographical indication (GI) for wines sold in Singapore after it rejected Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated (AGWI) arguments opposing the move, according to a story in the Straits Times.

Singapore’s highest court allowed an appeal by an Italian trade body to register the term as a GI in respect of wines in Singapore, overturning an earlier lower court decision in favour of the Australian group.

It is the first ruling by the Court of Appeal on geographical indications.

The Straits Times reported that the “issue raised in the present appeal relates to a specific provision of the Geographical Indications Act”.

“The provision states that a proposed GI which contains the name of a plant variety or an animal breed and is likely to mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product cannot be registered.”

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– Jim Plouffe

EOIs open for Artists at Work Taskforce

The state government has opened up expressions of interest for arts, culture and creative experts to join the Artists at Work Taskforce, which will aim to address work insecurity and income inequality experienced by artists.

Established by arts minister Andrea Michaels, the taskforce will identify issues faced by artists and arts workers, and has been created in conjunction with the development of “a landmark state cultural policy”.

Taskforce members will convene regularly over a four-month period and provide advice and expertise on current issues in SA.

These recommendations will be detailed in a final report for the minister’s consideration.

“Artists and arts workers are the foundation of a thriving arts, cultural and creative sector that delivers incredible social, cultural and economic value for South Australia,” Michaels said.

“They give us so much and yet they often face significant issues including difficulty securing ongoing work and fair pay.

“That’s why we committed at the election to establish the Artists at Work Taskforce, and I encourage experienced arts workers and artists to apply so we can ensure meaningful improvements for the sector for the future.”

More information on the Taskforce can be found here.

David Simmons

Photo: Global Centre for Modern Ageing.

Global Centre for Modern Ageing issues call for volunteers

The organisation’s LifeLab has asked for volunteers aged 65 and older to come forward and join a pilot program of products designed with older adults in mind.

Situated in the Tonsley Innovation District, the GCMA is a research facility where products ranging from household appliances to cutting-edge technologies are researched and refined to respond to the needs of today’s older Australians.

Founder and CEO Julianne Parkinson said many products were not designed with the unique requirements of older people in mind.

“Recognising what older adults truly value in their homes, including technologies and everyday products, is key,” Parkinson said.

“It’s not just about physical modifications, but also about creating spaces that foster independence, nurture social connection, and a sense of belonging.

“Our program ensures that innovations for older people are grounded in reliable evidence, rather than assumptions tainted by ageist and outdated stereotypes.”

The GCMA is seeking volunteers, including older adults with vision, hearing and mobility impairments.

To learn more visit

– David Simmons

Space Machines Company to expand

Adelaide-based international space company Space Machines Company will expand its mission command centre amidst growing interest in collaboration between Australia and India.

The company plans to create up to 10 new jobs for mission control engineers and support staff, who would play a role in operating Australia’s biggest satellite, Optimus.

“Space Machines Company’s expansion in Adelaide is an excellent example of a global company recognising the strategic advantage of investing in South Australia,” Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion said.

“The space sector provides a unique opportunity for enhanced South Australian and Indian collaboration in our region, with benefits from innovation set to benefit a range of sectors from disaster and climate responses, water management, agriculture, along with defence and communications.

“Our state’s young people will grow up knowing there are a growing number of jobs in the space and defence industry right here in their home state.”

David Simmons

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