Legislative Council: Wednesday, October 19, 2022


Business in South Australia

The Hon. H.M. GIROLAMO (15:27): I rise today to speak about the incredible businesses that I have had the opportunity to recently visit right across the state. As shadow minister for finance, trade and investment and the circular economy, I value the opportunity to meet with businesses around South Australia to listen and learn and to understand what they are experiencing, the challenges faced and any areas I can assist in.

REDARC Electronics and Seeley International are both family owned and run manufacturing companies operating in South Australia. During my recent tour of REDARC with owner and managing director, Anthony Kittel, and his team, I was so impressed by their state-of-the-art advanced modern manufacturing, family owned business, employing over 250 people in Adelaide and across Australia.

REDARC has a key focus on research and development, expanding their product line and creating more technologically advanced products along the way to sell in Australia and export overseas. REDARC has grown and expanded during the challenging times of COVID, which has seen more South Australians being employed, and develops and manufactures electronic items for your four-wheel drive and truck, including a range of electronic voltage converters and associated products, inverters, power supplies, battery chargers and, very importantly, brake controllers and trailer braking products.

With many South Australians travelling and exploring our own backyards during recent times, REDARC has grown significantly over the past few years. REDARC has operations locally in Lonsdale and in Williamtown in New South Wales, and a REDARC corporation in the USA which has partnered with the Australian Made Campaign. In 2021, REDARC opened its Victorian branch at the Auto Innovation Centre in Mulgrave, Victoria, allowing them to further expand their operations both here in Adelaide and outside of South Australia.

Anthony and Michelle Kittel recently celebrated 25 years of ownership of REDARC, and what an impressive journey it has been. Congratulations to REDARC Electronics on winning the 2022 Export Award for E-Commerce, Manufacturing and Advanced Materials, and our South Australian Exporter of the Year. I wish them all the very best for the upcoming national awards.

I also recently visited Seeley International, based in Lonsdale. Seeley International recently celebrated 50 years of operations. I would like to congratulate founder and executive chairman, Frank Seeley AM; group managing director, Jon Seeley; and their team on this incredible achievement. Seeley International was founded by Frank Seeley in 1972 and manufactures air conditioning for both commercial and residential needs in Lonsdale, South Australia; Albury, New South Wales; Denver, Colorado; and West Sacramento, California.

They have over 500 staff employed locally and around the world, exporting to over 100 countries. They are a global leader in developing energy-efficient modern cooling and heating systems, and I thank them for their great contribution to our state. Again, they are a great example of a family-owned business manufacturing right here in South Australia. I strongly believe that there is a huge opportunity for modern manufacturing in this state. We have incredible research and development occurring and high-end technology and skills at our fingertips.

I also recently visited Mitsubishi, where the Australian head office is right here in Adelaide, based at the Airport—a project strongly supported by the previous Marshall Liberal government. We should be proud that Mitsubishi have chosen to have their headquarters here in Adelaide. Despite vehicles not being manufactured in Australia, Mitsubishi remains a great company delivering quality cars and products across Australia. Thank you to Shaun Westcott, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited, and his team for the great tour and showcase of their business.

I look forward to continuing to visit businesses around our state, across different industries, and listening and learning. COVID created some challenges for our state, but our economy is resilient and strong. I hope that this government continues the good work of the previous government and invests in industry and defence over the coming four years. Our state needs to continue to strive and succeed for future generations.

I encourage all members to contact and engage with our wonderful business community, including manufacturing, and to learn about the incredible research and development underway, with our businesses employing hardworking South Australians to manufacture and provide services to be sold here in Australia and across the world.