The Queensland government has announced a target to make 25 per cent of its PPE purchases from manufacturers located within the state.
The procurement policy is part of a new “Directions Statement for Personal Protective Equipment and Other Essential Products” statement, launched on Monday at the Aspen Medical factory.
“While our immediate priority is making sure we’re keeping our frontline health professionals safe with the PPE supplies we currently have, it is also critical that we build supplies for the future,” said premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“That means we’re protecting Queenslanders against future pandemics but we’re also increasing local manufacturing which is critical for our economic recovery and creating jobs.
“COVID-19 has shown just how important it is we eliminate supply chain risks and firmly establish domestic production capacity for these vital products and equipment right here in Queensland.”
Aspen is preparing to ramp up production of masks from 2 million now to 4 million by mid-next month — and included news of a new testing facility planned for Meadowbrook.
Aspen received government support and has invested $2 million for equipment to produce N95 and 3-ply masks, and expects to create 35 new jobs within the first year of operation.
Treasurer Cameron Dick said that pre-Covid-19 Australia produced only 5 per cent of its medical masks — at the Med-Con factory in Shepparton, Victoria — and government investment had helped change this.
“By backing our manufacturing sector, Queensland has more capacity to respond to crises like this pandemic,” he added.
Picture: Getty Images
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