Local staff such as Daryl Grove make the PVC fences just outside Portarlington.
A PORTARLINGTON fence building business has won acclaim for its pioneering eco-friendly plastic design in a state awards ceremony.
Think Fencing was recognised as a Leader in Manufacturing at the 2023 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards, which were presented at Crown Palladium in Melbourne on Thursday last week.
The Bellarine business makes recyclable plastic fences for residential, rural and commercial uses and has become a national leader in PVC fence manufacturing.
Think Fencing general manager Ben Zappia said the business was proud to be recognised for its steady growth and commitment to sustainable manufacturing.
“What makes us different in the last couple of years, we’ve really pushed developing recycling technology in conjunction with CSIRO, where we’re now able to save materials that were destined for landfill and process it here.
“We started that recycling as a as a concept and it’s proven to be better than we expected.
“We’re looking at going larger scale with that at another facility… and creating upcycle products that’s performing better than virgin material.”
Mr Zappia was among the Think Fencing staff members that travelled to Melbourne for the awards ceremony, highlighted by what the team believed was a best-on-ground acceptance speech from the business’ founder and managing director Jack Fitzgerald.
Organic and plant-based meat producer Farm Foods at Breakwater was named Manufacturer of the Year – Medium Business last week, while North Geelong medical industry manufacturer Care Essentials was also nominated for an award.
The achievements also earned plaudits from City of Greater Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan.
“Council is thrilled to hear about this remarkable achievement and we’re looking forward to seeing what they accomplish next,” he said.
“These businesses have demonstrated outstanding commitment to business practices and are helping to put greater Geelong on the map through innovative thinking, talent and hard work.
“The recognition reflects our UNESCO Creative City of Design’s growing reputation as a leader in advanced manufacturing, medtech, engineering and cleantech.”
Cr Sullivan said the Greater Geelong manufacturing sector provided 9,326 jobs, $4.5 billion of total economic output and $2.2 billion in exports, which made up 31 per cent of the region’s total exports.
The manufacturing awards are a state government initiative to celebrate outstanding achievers in the state’s manufacturing sector and marked its 21st year this year.
Manufacturing Sovereignty Minister Ben Carroll congratulated winners last week.
“As manufacturing evolves to become smarter and more sustainable, these Victorian companies are leading the way with new technologies, innovations and ways of working,” he said.