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Local invention creating local jobs.

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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: Web:

Media Release The Hon David Hawker MP Speaker of the House of Representatives Federal Member for Wannon

7 April 2005


A clever Warrnambool invention that will create local jobs is a step closer to commercial reality following the latest round of Australian Government innovation grants.

Local company Southern IT Pty Ltd has received $12,000 to commercialise a product enabling computers to withstand extreme conditions such as heat, saltwater corrosion, dust, industrial gases, shock, vibration and harsh use such as dropping.

Southern IT was awarded the funding under the Australian Government’s Commercialising Emerging Technology (COMET) program.

Member for Wannon, David Hawker, congratulated the company on its success, saying the Government was committed to helping businesses like Southern IT take the important steps that turn bright ideas into great products, and importantly, create local jobs.

“This is great news for the local economy, as innovative companies like Southern IT hold the key to future job, export and economic growth,” he said.

“So far, Western Victorian companies have received more than $88,000 through this innovation funding.”

Southern IT’s technology creates the ability to completely 'seal' the computer's operational functions from the 'physical atmosphere'.

It was designed to solve the specific problems of the commercial fishing industry, but other potential customers include industries such as mining, manufacturing and engineering (including those using chemical and gases), petroleum, remote location use, building, fire fighting and remote area defence industries.

Southern IT’s Mr William Van Oosten said that the commercialisation of this product will result in more local jobs.

“Mr Andrew Gapes from Process Fabrication Services has been constructing the prototype cases for us, and as production takes off we should see the creation of a number of positions locally,” he said.

Mr Hawker said that the Government was committed to innovation, introducing a new $1 billion Commercial Ready program to support inventive companies.

Businesses interested in applying for assistance under the Government’s innovation programs can access more information at or by calling 13 28 46.

Media contact: Jane Templeton

(03) 5572 1100