States reach out to manufacturers to fill virus needs

By Peter Roberts

Manufacturers around Australia are gearing up to manufacture essential supplies to fight the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic with state government efforts starting to bear fruit.

Five days ago, and three months into the pandemic, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined other states in reaching out to manufacturers to step up now that the global supply chains normally relied on were closed.

She told media on Wednesday: “Today, I’m calling on the great people of our state, those great business people, those manufacturers who are able to re-tool, to help supply the additional things we need in coming months.

“Whether it’s sanitisers, medical equipment or a whole host of other things which our hospitals will rely on in the coming months.”

The states appear to have seriously approached manufacturers only in March, in line with the federal government which issued a request for information from potential manufacturers on on March 15.

These efforts have begun to bear fruit, with Adelaide company Detmold one ramping up production to make face masks, as reported in @AuManufacturing.

Adelaide cordial manufacturer Bickford’s Group has also swung into action, making 60,000 bottles of hand sanitiser.

Over the weekend the Queensland government announced that it had been working with Evolve Group in Crestmead which will soon start manufacturing N95 surgical masks, producing 60,000 masks a day.

Manufacturing minister Cameron Dick said the government had signed a contract to purchase masks from Evolve for the next three years, giving the company comfort in investing to expand.

He said: “Our government is proud to be supporting this work.”

Local distillers Beenleigh Rum Distillery, which is part of Bickford’s Group, and Bundaberg Rum are producing hand sanitiser.

Queensland manufacturers who can help supply urgent medical needs can register here.

Some states have even been thinking of the future with South Australia’s Department for Trade and Investment establishing an Export Support Recovery Taskforce to preserve the export activities of SA businesses.

The first meeting was 10 days ago and focused on identifying issues within the supply chain. ​

Picture: Evolve Group

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