The Victorian Government has recently announced that it will provide $1.5 million worth of grants this year for innovative road surface projects. This announcement was welcomed by the industry’s peak body Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia (CCAA).
According to the CCAA, the grants have been awarded to a number of initiatives across Victoria involving construction materials companies, as well as local councils and higher education institutions. Ken Slattery, the CEO of the CCAA, said the public grants were on top of the millions of dollars that had been contributed directly or in kind by CCAA members to the initiatives.
“The heavy construction materials industry is committed to a sustainable future, investing time and money into innovative, world class initiatives that could one day revolutionise the way we build infrastructure in Australia,” Slattery said.
“Many of the projects being undertaken by our members are at the forefront of research and development initiatives globally, and we welcome the support shown by the Victorian Government. As an industry that contributes over $15 billion to the national economy, we are committed to the use of recycled materials where viable, in order to minimise the pressure on the sourcing of raw materials,” he said.
As part of these grants, the Victorian Government will contribute $200,000 to the next stage of work undertaken by Boral Limited with RMIT University, Melbourne. Boral is looking to develop a premix concrete that uses recycled plastics and rubber.
A project led by the University of Melbourne, with the participation of Downer EDI Works, has been awarded $176,000 for the next stage of a demonstration project that is trialling a permeable pavement, using recycled concrete, brick, glass, plastics and rubber, under real traffic conditions.
Slattery said the grants recognised the fact that concrete was a highly versatile and cost-effective building and construction material. “What is not widely known is that the concrete industry is a major consumer of other industries’ waste and by-products, which can be used as fuel and supplementary materials in the production process,” he added.
The industry employs more than 110,000 Australians directly and indirectly, according to the CCAA.
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