Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Keeping It Clean Is Paying Off

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Keeping It Clean Is Paying Off

Article excerpt

ABOUT 15 years ago, a new water-saving device was regarded by many as "weird".

But the double-flush toilet system, designed to reduce water use, can now be found in any new house design.

"That was one of the early clean-technology items," Cleantech Industry Association Sunshine Coast president Adrian Just said.

"People thought it was weird back then -- now it's standard."

For many, "clean technology" is misunderstood, leading to accusations it is an expensive and unsustainable industry.

"The industry is about where safety was 10 or 15 years ago," Mr Just said.

"It is institutions, not just products -- and its services stretch across just about every industry sector now."

And it is one of the seven high-value industries the Sunshine Coast is targeting under the new Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033.

"It has been a select group in the past, but all industries touch on it these days," Mr Just said.

"A plumber, for example, might have about 10% of his products in clean technology."

But what advantage will the Sunshine Coast have in attracting the industry?

"The (former) State Government looked at industry across the state and found clean technology hubs in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Mackay, Townsville -- and the Sunshine Coast, where we already have about 150 clean-technology companies located here," Mr Just said.

"They are all different.

"Mackay is mining-oriented, for example -- but we're a bit of everything here.

"A lot of our skill comes from small companies who develop the technologies but we also recognise that there are issues about finance and marketing of new products so we can assist with the right introductions.

"We know of companies and billionaires out there that are concentrating on taking new cleantech products to market.

"If you can get your cleantech product to fly in Australia, then its potential in overseas markets is generally assured at a much greater volume and much bigger profits. …

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