Steber leads way in regional manufacturing boom



Steber leads way in regional manufacturing boom

Manufacturing is not only alive and well in regional NSW but is powering along, if you use the
Steber International example.
Leading Australian boat manufacturer, Steber International, based in Taree on the NSW Mid North
Coast, is currently going through a boom period with export orders this financial year alone
expected to top $4m.
The four acre factory complex was the subject of a ministerial visit on Monday, August 21 with
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, the Hon. Melinda Pavey accompanied by Member
for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead.
General Manager, Alan Steber proudly led a tour of the factory covering a $2m export vessel, 43ft
navy vessel, 4380 sports cruiser, 34ft commercial fishing vessel and a host of other projects under
construction.
Mr Steber also took the opportunity to discuss a wide range of innovative projects in various stages
of development as well as several logistical issues that could hamper the company’s future
expansion.
“To date we have manufactured over 50 government vessels to AMSA (Australian Marine Safety
Authority) survey standards, more than 50 export orders and 200 commercial vessels throughout
Australia”, Mr Steber said.
“In addition, over 10,000 small runabouts have been produced since the company’s inception”.
Innovation was a strong theme of discussions including R and D projects such as an electric hybrid
patrol vessel, floating restaurant, SSS Bluebottle drone and floating solar panels on dams.
Mr Steber also discussed several logistical issues including river entrance hazards at Harrington and
escalating costs from Essential Energy when transferring vessels from the factory to the Manning
River.
“We will have a real issue in about 18 months time when we attempt to take the first 60ft Steber/
Westcoaster deep draft fishing vessel across the Harrington bar, the first of such size since the heady
days of timber boat construction”, Mr Steber said.
Minister Pavey’s visit follows hot on the heels of Marine 17 and the Sydney International Boat
Show at Darling Harbour. The minister thrilled the marine industry with her exciting presentation at
the boat show.
In addition, Deputy Secretary for Freight, Strategy and Planning with Transport NSW, Claire
Gardiner-Barnes was guest speaker at Marine 17 and pushed the government’s mantra of driving
innovation.
“This is a concept we at Steber fully embrace”, Mr Steber said. “In fact we are leading by example
with our various R. and D. projects gaining national and international recognition”.
With encouragement from the minister, Mr Steber said the company plans to increase the
apprenticeship intake to keep the industry labour force well trained.

FOOTNOTE: On August 25 we were named Mid North Coast Business of the Year and Mid North Coast Excellence in Export and proceed to State Business Chamber judging in November.

PHOTOS:

Main Photo: Minister Pavey and local MP Steve Bromhead with the Steber team – Graham, Colin and Alan.

Photo 2: The Minister inspects a 52ft versatile vessel in production for the Fregate Island Resort on the Seychelles. This will be the fourth vessel exported to the Seychelles.