Paul Sewell, the founder of Warrnambool’s Fresh Bins, has called a lack of support from local and state governments “heartbreaking” as the company announced it would manufacture in the USA under licence.
Fresh Bins was founded in 2007 and provides chemical-free bin sterilisation for residential, government and commercial users.
Sewell told The Standard that he hopes trucks with robotic cleaning equipment will start to be produced in the next six to 12 months in Texas, where a local council has been negotiating with the company. It was a positive opportunity to expand, but he would rather have manufactured locally.
“My preference has always been to have a manufacturing base in Victoria,” Sewell told The Standard.
“We tried so hard to get support from state and federal governments and Warrnambool City Council, but we were stonewalled.”
The company would get royalties per each truck made and bin cleaned in Texas.
“That’s very disappointing because now we’ve been forced to go overseas and Australia will miss out on job opportunities with huge flow-on benefits,” he said.
“I just can’t understand the logic of our governments in failing to support us — it’s heartbreaking.
The entrepreneur, whose robotic sanitiser is explainer and demonstrated in this video from the ABC’s New Inventors, believes that manufacturing in Victoria would have created 650 local jobs.
Elsewhere, Sewell said that the technology was getting interest from councils in other states in the USA, as well as from south-east Asia and the Middle East.
He also recommended that start-up companies to seek legal advice to help protect their intellectual property.
“My advice would be to make sure you have a really good solicitor and patent attorney, and make sure you understand how the patent fits and works,” he told Start Up Smart.
“If you’re going global, it’s going to cost a lot more money, a lot more time and a lot more effort… I can’t stress how important it is to have a good patent attorney.”