Leaders from Australia and New York gathered in lower Manhattan this weekend to celebrate a new technology-sharing initiative aimed at ending Western dependence on China for lithium production.
Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) was joined by Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Secretary Richard Marles and opposition party leader Peter Dutton for Saturday night’s celebration at One World Trade Center.
“The world is a challenging and precarious place and the Australia-US alliance has never been more important, especially for Australia,” Marles told The Post.
“This event is an expression of the friendship and alliance between the United States and Australia.”
The event took place on the 82nd floor of the tower that will soon house the offices of Scale Facilitation, the investment fund led by businessman David Collard, who arranged for New York experts to partner with researchers and entrepreneurs in his native Australia on the project.
“Australia is one of America’s longest allies… and now we’re helping each other,” Collard told the Post. “When we both work on industries in our countries, it strengthens both of our countries.”
Scale helped open a factory in the Empire State earlier this year that relies on cleaner ingredients to make lithium-ion batteries — a necessary ingredient for electric vehicles — rather than toxic elements like nickel and cobalt that China uses in its manufacturing process used.
The event underscored the major efforts by western nations to engage in “friend shoring” – or shifting key parts of the global supply chain to allied nations. Friend shoring is designed to minimize disruptions in the supply chain.
“The US has been our nation’s dear allies for decades and we continue to applaud the synergy between these two countries,” Dutton, the leader of the opposition party, told The Post.
Fund officials mingled with government officials in the new office space, which will also include a dedicated lounge for veterans and first responders from the US, Australia and other allied countries to relax, mingle and work.
Guests included many notable figures from Down Under, including Australia’s Consul General in New York, Nick Greiner, Australia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Mitch Fifield, and Australia’s Chief of Defense Services and US Defense Attaché, Maj. Gen. Andrew Freeman.
At the beginning of the evening, the participants were serenaded by a didgeridoo played by a man who had flown in from Australia especially for the event.
“This is the most iconic address in the world – it’s extraordinary to see Scale here,” said Marles.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/04/australia-ny-leaders-celebrate-lithium-ion-battery-production-initiative/ Leaders in Australia and New York celebrate lithium-ion battery manufacturing initiative