Kristy Chong, founder and chief executive of Modibodi

BUSINESS NEWS: NHFIC commences major bank lender RFP to expand lender panel for the Home Guarantee Scheme

The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) has commenced a request for proposal (RFP) process, to allow ANZ and Westpac to join its major bank lender panel for the Home Guarantee Scheme – an Australian government initiative to support eligible home buyers to become homeowners sooner. 

The scheme is currently available through CBA and NAB, as well as 30 smaller lenders. NHFIC anticipates that 50,000 places will be made available for the 2022-23 financial year, including 10,000 places in the Regional First Home Buyer Support Scheme. 

A survey from Resolve Strategic published in April found that 67 per cent of young people believe they will never be able to own their own home. 

New data reveals Sydney faces housing undersupply

Analysis from the Property Council of Australia and Gyde Consulting has revealed that several areas of Sydney are struggling to deliver sufficient housing, adding concern to Australia’s housing affordability crisis. Property Council’s NSW executive director Luke Achterstraat said Western Sydney leads the delivery of new housing supply, but 6000 new homes are needed to keep pace with future demand. 

“Each year the dwelling targets are not met exacerbates this deficit and worsens the affordability crisis. Crucially, the current targets do not incorporate the deficit into dwelling demand, meaning that there is an underlying deficit that can persist, even when dwelling targets are achieved,” Mr Achterstraat said.

“We support the government’s expansion of the Accelerated Infrastructure Fund to unlock more housing growth in this area and note that the coming flood review will make it all the more critical that government review the urban/rural boundary of Sydney in search of opportunities to build suitable sites.”

Expressions of Interest now open for Powerhouse Ultimo design competition 

The NSW government is now seeking submissions from architectural design teams to redesign the Powerhouse Ultimo, with expressions of interest closing Friday 12 August 2022. Minister for the Arts Ben Franklin said the renewal will deliver new and expanded exhibition spaces.

“We are looking for Australian design teams with bold, ambitious ideas to create a contemporary museum in the heart of Australia’s most international city. This is a visionary initiative, with a site that presents a unique design challenge to embrace the changing and vital urban context in a way that is sympathetic to its important heritage and history,” Mr Franklin said.

The design competition will be managed by CityLab on behalf of Create NSW, Powerhouse, and Infrastructure NSW, with a jury chaired by Wendy Lewin, commissioner of the NSW Independent Planning Commission and principal of Wendy Lewin Architects

The jury is also comprised of NSW Government Architect Abbie Galvin; Alison Page from the University of Technology’s faculty of design, architecture and buildings; interim chief executive of Create NSW Annette Pitman; founding partner of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects Billie Tsien; Powerhouse chief executive Lisa Havilah; and Peter Poulet, who is the central district and southern district commissioner for the Greater Sydney Commission and professor of practice at Western Sydney University’s school of architecture.

BINGO waste partners with social enterprise Revolve ReCYCLING to combat bike waste 

The wheels of the circular economy are turning! To combat bicycle waste, BINGO has partnered with Revolve ReCYCLING to provide space at its Alexandria recycling centre to support the growth and operations of the social enterprise. The enterprise – which claims to be the first of its kind in Australia – has already diverted more than 2000 bicycles from landfill. The bicycles are either disassembled and recycled, or repaired and resold to provide bicycles to children in need. 

Pete Shmigel co-founded the organisation just 12 months ago after seeing a gap in the market, and took his experience as chief executive of the Australian Council of Recyclers and Lifeline Australia to the task. General manager Guido Verbist also helped to get the wheels turning, bringing with him his experience at Bower Reuse and Repair Centre.

“We estimate there is something like 800,000 bikes sitting in homes around Australia, of which the vast majority would normally go to landfill,” said Mr Verbist. “We set up Revolve ReCYCLING because we believe diverting old bikes from landfill is the right thing to do from an environmental perspective and it can be financially self-sufficient and economically sustainable.”

Swedish multinational Essity acquires Australian sustainable health and hygiene company Modibodi for $140m 

Attesting to the strength of the sustainable health and hygiene market, Swedish multinational Essity have acquired leading Australian hygiene apparel company Modibodi for a purchase price of $140 million. The business leads the market in the fastest growing product segment in personal hygiene, which is expected to grow at an annual rate of more than 20 per cent for the next five years. 

Magnus Groth, president and chief executive of Essity said: “The acquisition of Modibodi strengthens Essity’s position in leakproof apparel and enables faster growth within better-for-you, better-for-the-planet solutions. Modibodi has the qualities we are looking for with leading market positions, strong brand and sustainability credentials as well as excellent digital marketing and e-commerce capabilities”. 

Kristy Chong, founder and chief executive of Modibodi, said: “I am proud of all we have created at Modibodi over the past nine years and pleased that Modibodi is joining Essity. As a global leader in hygiene and health, Essity can provide the expertise and capital to take the brand forward during its next phase of growth, and achieve even greater impact”.

Archwey CEO Sjoerd Fauser speaking at official launch of global HQ in Singapore

Sustainable materials engineering group Archwey launches globally, pledging to rid the world of virgin plastic

Sustainable materials group Archwey has launched as a holding group of three companies that are re-engineering plastic waste: Arch & Hook, Shieldler, and PlasticBean, with a new head office in Singapore. The companies supply recycled-plastic pellets for manufacturing, recycled and recyclable healthcare packaging, and sustainable packaging for the fashion industry. It is aiming for all subsidiary companies to become B Corp-certified within the next two years. 

Chief executive officer Sjoerd Fauser said: “The raw materials that industries need already exist. By utilising and supporting smart engineering solutions and bringing to market sustainable products for industry, the creation of new plastic is completely unnecessary. We are here to show the world that recycling is the key to decarbonisation, and have advanced the way materials are being reused. We are committed to creating a world without single-use plastic, and a more sustainable planet for future generations.”

Hallett Group launches $125m green cement project across Port Adelaide and regional SA 

A $125 million green cement project has been launched across Port Adelaide, Port Augusta, Port Pirie and Whyalla, aiming to reduce Australian carbon dioxide emissions by 300,000 tonnes a year. Enabled by a $20 million federal government grant, the Hallett Group green cement project aims to meet one per cent of Australia’s 2030 target and create $125 million of jobs across regional South Australia and Port Adelaide. 

Chief executive Kane Salisbury said Hallett would use existing and proven technology to manufacture supplementary cementitious materials that can replace more than 50 per cent of traditional high carbon dioxide emitting clinker-based cement. 

“The project will replace imports of SCMs and will future-proof Australia’s access to SCMs and green cement, which becomes increasingly important as Australia’s current locally produced sources of SCM-quality fly ash diminishes in the coming years in line with the reduction of coal fired power generation” Mr Salisbury said.

Minister for Infrastructure Transport, Energy and Mining, Tom Koutsantonis, said: “Building homes and cities using low emissions materials and leveraging renewable energy is the kind of innovative investment the Malinauskas Labor government plans to attract by maintaining South Australia’s reputation for global leadership in renewables”.

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