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Geelong manufacturers step up to aid COVID-19 supply chain

A North Geelong business sold more hand sanitiser last month than it did during the whole of 2019 as Geelong manufacturers step up to aid the nationwide response effort during the COVID-19 crisis.

Liberal Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the Morrison Government is working with local industry to increase domestic production of medical protective equipment such as surgical face masks, hand sanitiser, gloves, goggles and gowns.

This includes helping to access new equipment and providing staff to enable companies to ramp up production and boost our domestic capacity.

While a number of these arrangements are commercial in confidence, the Geelong Manufacturing Council advises many local manufacturers are stepping up or re-tooling their operations to support the COVID-19 response.

Across the country, more than 430 businesses to date have approached the Morrison Government with offers of help while 1300 manufacturers have reached out to the Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre offering to fill gaps in production.

“As part of the Morrison Government’s focus on saving lives and livelihoods, it is heartening to see the number of local manufacturers which are adapting their businesses to support the national supply chain,” Senator Henderson said.

“It is my dream that the Geelong region becomes an even more important manufacturing centre of excellence once we get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our economic sovereignty depends on us boosting our manufacturing output and self-sufficiency, especially in areas where we have a strong advantage such as food production, advanced manufacturing and medical and defence equipment manufacturing.

“Caron Laboratories, which is known as a wax and beauty products manufacturer, has done a terrific job in increasing its manufacture of hand sanitiser. In March, the company sold nearly 7,500 bottles of hand sanitiser, 1000 units more than it did during the whole of 2019.”

A number of distilleries and wineries, including in the Geelong region, have also pivoted to producing hand sanitiser.

The Geelong Manufacturing Council advises that several companies in Geelong are developing a range of products such as PPE equipment and surgical textiles, while other companies are collaborating with larger projects to manufacture ventilators and other in demand medical equipment.

“Whether it’s making gowns, masks or supporting the production of ventilators, it is very encouraging that so many Geelong companies are responding so positively to this crisis,” Senator Henderson said.


15 April 2020

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