A dozen Australian Defence Force engineers are assisting manufacturer Med-Con keep up with increased demand due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Med-Con was established in 1989 and is based in Shepparton, in regional Victoria. It makes products including face masks, disinfectants and hospital linen. The ADF personnel are helping in production, maintenance and warehousing roles, under the Defence Assistance to the Civil Community (DACC) arrangements.
“The Defence support will fill a short-term gap while Med-Con Pty Ltd recruits and trains supplementary staff. This is an example of the kind of exceptional circumstances which the DACC rules are designed to cover,” said defence minister Linda Reynolds in a statement.
The ADF staff are engineering maintenance specialists from the Army Logistic Training Centre and the Joint Logistics Unit in Victoria, said Reynolds.
Industry minister Karen Andrews said the federal government was doing what it could to enable companies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that at 2 pm on Tuesday there were over 400 cases of COVID-19 nationally, with 210 in NSW, 94 in Victoria, and 78 are in Queensland
As reported by @AuManufacturing, the federal government has issued a request for information from companies capable of supplying medical personal protective equipment (PPE), such as surgical gowns, gloves, goggles, hand sanitisers and clinical waste bags
This RFI can be seen on the government tenders site here.
Andrews’s department is mapping national capability for medical PPE production to respond to demands for increased output.
“We are casting the net as widely as we can, asking manufacturers if they have the ability to diversify the work they do,” she said.
“Australian manufacturers have already been reaching out with offers to help. I’m confident our Aussie ingenuity will guide us through this difficult time.”
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