3D printing to provide jobs boost
NEW South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has vowed to turn Western Sydney into a "Silicon Valley of 3D printing" that will secure thousands of long-term jobs for the area.
Ms Berejiklian was speaking in Germany during a trade mission to Europe that has been overshadowed by bitter debate on her abortion bill back home.
She declared that "enhanced 3D printing capabilities will be a key component of a new defence and space industry hub at the Aerotropolis."
She made the statement after signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in the Munich branch of GE Additive, a leader in the 3D printing of metals which has pioneered the mass production of gas turbines for jet engines, to develop industrial-scale 3D printing in Western Sydney.
The MOU is merely an expression of intent and does not legally bind GE Additive into opening a branch in the city.
But Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, who was on the trade mission with the premier, was as confident as his boss that it would lead to a major boost in the city's economy.
"What Silicon Valley has done for software, I think Western Sydney can do for additive and advanced manufacturing," he said.
"It's about creating jobs that will exist well into the future and allowing Western Sydney employees to plug into global supply chains," he added.
The statements follow an agreement signed in December between the NSW government and 18 NSW space companies, research and education institutions, as well as the national science agency, the CSIRO, to establish a new space industry hub at the Aerotropolis.
Ms Berejiklian, who was given a gift of a titanium 3D-printed waratah by GE Additive executives, was the first NSW Premier to lead a trade mission to Germany in two decades.
The trip to Munich followed two days in the UK, where she signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Sheffield to build an advanced manufacturing training centre in Western Sydney.
The premier has also had meetings with UK international trade secretary Liz Truss inside No. 10 Downing St.
The meeting was a crucial edge over Victoria ahead of Britain's plans to leave the European Union on October 31, which could lead to a major boost with trade with Australia.
The trade mission is due to end on Friday in Berlin.