NSW Government calls on manufacturers to re-tool for Covid-19

NSW Government calls on manufacturers to re-tool for Covid-19

With global supply chains more or less kneecapped and exports of essential medical supplies in high-demand, the NSW Government is calling on local manufacturers to re-tool.

The State hopes local manufacturers will redeploy spare capacity to manufacture medical equipment and hygiene products that are urgently needed to help fight Covid-19.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the world is running short on hand sanitiser, handwash, soap, gloves, cleaning products, protective clothing, masks, eyewear and paper products.

"This is a call to arms for NSW manufacturers to look at ways to convert production lines into making the items we so desperately need," says Berejiklian.

"We have the ability within NSW to meet our local demand and the Government is moving to help manufacturers re-tool quickly to achieve this.

"Importantly, providing this opportunity to manufacturers will also allow some businesses to keep people in jobs when they may not have been able to do so."

Of particular importance is the urgent need for personal protective equipment and disinfectant, the supply of which will be greatly constrained globally for at least 12 months.

The "call to arms" comes as manufacturers around Australia have re-tooled to manufacture things like masks, gloves and hand sanitiser.

Just yesterday Adelaide food packaging company Detmold announced it will be producing hundreds of millions of respirator and surgical mask for South Australia and the Federal stockpile.

Distilleries nationally have been converting their boozy production lines into high-capacity hand sanitiser factories to meet national demand from hospitals and individuals alike.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres says the NSW Government has set up an online portal to connect the supply chain so more finished products can be provided where needed.

"This is an opportunity for businesses to not only diversify their supply but produce incredibly important products for our State in a time of need," says Ayres.

"We will work to find solutions to provide our hospitals and our people with the protection they need, while keeping as many workers as possible in a job."

Businesses can register their interest to manufacture urgently needed goods via the NSW Covid-19 Emergency Supplies registration portal here.

The announcement comes as NSW hits 2,032 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 114 new cases recorded in the state yesterday.

Nationally there are now 4,561 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 917 in VIC, 743 in QLD, 364 in WA, 337 in SA, 80 in the ACT, 69 in TAS, and 19 in the NT. 19 people have died of Covid-19 in Australia to date.

Updated at 9:17AM AEDT on 1 April 2020.

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