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Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Page: 1815


Mr BYRNE (Holt) (10:25): Last month I paid a visit to a local company in Hallam, Coolon LED Lighting, which is an innovative local manufacturing company run by Svetlana Zatsepin and Alex Zatsepin. Coolon LED Lighting was formed in 2001 in Oakleigh; it is now based in Hallam. Coolon LED Lighting has 40 employees. The secret to its success, given it is a small-to-medium sized company in the particularly challenging environment of manufacturing, is its investment in R&D. What it did was basically look at LEDs and how they could be used in mining and other services. Coolon's turnover last year was $7.5 million, and it is trending towards $8.5 million this year.

I want to say how proud I am of this company and its people, because the products from its research are now used on a daily basis around the world. Coolon's LED lights are electronically highly sophisticated and are, in fact, probably closer to an onboard computer than to conventional lamps. The company has competed successfully in the global market because it is constantly modifying and adapting its products to ensure that it is one step ahead of its competitors, which is invariably Philips but also other large companies in China and Europe.

Coolon LED Lighting's clients include mining companies, architectural firms and local governments like the Melbourne City Council, which has Coolon lights installed in many public projects. Some of Coolon LED Lighting's largest and most prominent projects have won many industry recognition awards and have even become recognised on a world scale.

By redirecting their expertise towards mining and heavy industrial applications, Coolon was able to create a range of industrial products that are now well known and globally recognised for being virtually indestructible and, particularly in these economically challenging times, energy efficient. Coolon has since become an established supplier to many international mining leaders like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore, AngloAmerican, Barrick—just to name a few. The release of their first industrial product coincided with the GFC, but because of their research, commitment and innovation they managed to prosper in a very challenging environment.

We know that our local manufacturing sector is encountering very challenging times, but I would like to point out to this chamber that the way forward in terms of jobs in the future are companies like Coolon LED Lighting. They are an amazing company. Their people have come from overseas and so are not Australian born, but they have made their mark on their community; they are employing people. Our job at any sort of level of government is to provide support to these sorts of companies because they are the way of the future. They are not necessarily competing on a level playing and so we as a government have to provide them with the opportunities to continue to go forward. I congratulate the owners of this great company and look forward to their ongoing and continuing success.