The Australian chemistry industry has expanded domestic manufacturing to meet demand for a range of products facing shortages.
Chemistry Australia CEO Samantha Read said the sector manufactures and supplies raw materials and other products to 108 of 114 industries, which are crucial to supporting and preserving the health of Australians.
“Many of our chemical manufacturers are being approached to adapt their manufacturing facilities to meet the unprecedented demand for a broad range of products, including sanitiser and PPE,” she said.
“However, this additional capacity will be lost if they are forced to close under new rules.
“It is vital that any new measures are coordinated and well-focused to increase and diversify critical manufacturing capability, not prevent it.”
Inputs by the chemical industry include key materials for manufacturing medical equipment, sanitisers, disinfectants and cleaning products.
It also supplies and distributes and distributes water treatments and packaging that enable crop protection, fertilisers and irrigation.
“The industry is doing all it can to assist state and federal governments by leveraging capability,” Read said.
“We ask governments to continue to engage with us and our members so that we can provide advice on the implications of any new proposals.”
The chemical industry, which is the third-largest in Australia, has warned against shuttering the sector as new rules to prevent non-essential activity come into effect.