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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Mackay innovator takes solar to the mines

    Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Friday, July 13, 2018

    Mackay innovator takes solar to the mines

    An energy and mining specialist based at Paget in Mackay has developed a fully self‑contained “EcoHabitat” living unit generating its own electricity through solar power.

    Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the innovative system didn’t require a fit out from an electrician or plumber - reducing both costs and emissions.

    Linked Group, who showcased the EcoHabitat unit along with other innovations at the Myriad Festival in Brisbane last month, produce an array of renewable energy options ranging from a solar carport, to a factory and office complex, all powered by off-the-grid renewable energy.

    Ms Gilbert said innovative regional businesses like Linked Group are helping to diversify our regional economies by commercialising their cutting-edge technologies.

    “We’re committed to increasing the ability of regional innovators like Linked Group, to translate their ideas into products and services that help to make the world a better place, while growing the economy,” she said.

    “When it comes to creating the jobs of the future in Mackay, it’s important for the government to partner with innovative businesses like Linked Group.

    “Advance Queensland’s $6 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP) supports regional partnerships with a focus on innovation initiatives that connect local efforts, leverage key local strengths and lift the capability of innovative local firms.

    “We were proud to support Linked Group to connect with potential partners at the 2018 Myriad innovation festival.

    “This clever business was one of 120 regional innovators, supported by the Palaszczuk Government, to showcase at the international gathering.”

    Innovation Minister Kate Jones said Linked Group was a great example of an innovative Mackay business that was kicking goals internationally.

    “We’re investing in innovation to diversify Queensland’s economy and ensure we’re creating sustainable jobs for our children and grandchildren,” she said.

    “Renewable energy is a growth area when it comes to creating sustainable jobs for the people of this state.

    “I’m proud Myriad Festival afforded hundreds of innovators from around the state the opportunity to rub shoulders with fellow entrepreneurs and make connections with some of the world’s greatest venture capitalists.”

    Linked Group founder Jason Sharam said Myriad was a great opportunity to network with like-minded business people.

    “At the Myriad Festival, we were able to showcase not only our own innovations but the enormous amount of innovation taking place in the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday Regions,” Mr Sharam said.

    “We met with potential robotics partners who can help us automate our production line and with other startups we can help to reduce electricity overheads by converting to renewable energy. 

    “We were also able to engage with international speakers about revolutionary technologies.

    “Taking these insights back to our business will guide us in growing new opportunities and creating more jobs.”

    Mr Sharam said that Linked Group got noticed because it is unique in the mining region.

    “It’s not often that you associate mining with renewable energy,” Mr Sharam said.

    “But the two can co-exist and it is possible to reduce emissions and improve workplace health and safety by eliminating diesel fumes from the environment.

    “The beauty of our EcoHabitat donga is that it has major cost savings being fully self-sufficient with solar power and water tanks. It’s interconnectable so resources can be shared.”

    ARIP is part of the $650 million Advance Queensland whole-of-government initiative to transform Queensland’s economy, create knowledge jobs of the future and build the state’s reputation as a global innovation and investment destination.

    Under ARIP, the Palaszczuk Government is supporting innovative businesses and communities across Queensland in a state wide commitment to boost innovation and entrepreneurship and empower the regions.

    The Myriad Festival was held in Brisbane at the Royal International Convention Centre from 16 to18 May 2018.

    For further details about ARIP see

    Media contact: 0419 620 447