Pump maker’s new direction in south-east’s land of opportunity

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A Pakenham pumps manufacturing business is expanding into renewable energy systems.

Sterling Pumps has recently begun a new venture with the launch of large-scale solar pumps last month.

The business has slowly grown through the irrigation, oil and gas industries over the past decade. Previously based in Bayswater, Sterling Pumps re-established in Pakenham three years ago and the majority of its 20 employees are local.

“It was a logical move,” Sterling Pumps managing director Anton Merry said.

“Our business was expanding and we needed more space to build our own testing facilities.

“Pakenham has fantastic land price, good infrastructure and good council support – it ticked all the boxes.”

Sterling Pumps currently exports its products to several countries in North Africa and Asia, providing products for a variety of heavy industry, mining, irrigation, fire and process industries.

Senator Kim Carr recently visited their manufacturing plant to discuss ideas for strengthening Australia’s manufacturing industry.

“I was impressed by their manufacturing capabilities and their commitment to process design and innovation,” Senator Carr said.

“A strong manufacturing sector is necessary to ensure a diversified economy and to create more Australian jobs.

“We know it’s difficult to compete on price with low-wage countries producing for mass markets. But we also know that Australian manufacturers can compete in discerning markets where quality matters.”

Mr Merry said the visit had been a positive experience for the business.

“It’s always good to receive attention from people in government and decision-making positions,” he said.

“We talked about ways of strengthening Australia’s control on what goes into the country’s major projects.”

Senator Carr said an announcement about Labor’s policies for industry and jobs would be made “in the coming weeks”.

“We’re interested in supply chain and business management development. One of the measures we’ve already announced is a Plan for Metals Manufacturing and Jobs, which includes targeted measures for our steel industry including mandating Australian standards for steel on all government-funded projects, a National Steel Supplier Advocate and establishing a Metals Manufacturing Innovation Council.

“We will toughen the anti-dumping and countervailing system for all manufacturing sectors and strengthen Australian Industry Participation measures, so that more Australian businesses win more work on public and private projects.”

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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