A South Australian packaging manufacturer will begin making millions of surgical masks and respirators from its Adelaide factory to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The federal government and South Australian government have reached an agreement with Detmold Group to produce 145 million masks – 100 million for the National Medical Stockpile and 45 million for South Australia.
The company will employ up to an extra 160 staff in the coming months and will invest more than $1 million in local supplies that will support other Australian businesses.
Industry, science and technology minister Karen Andrews said Detmold was the latest in a line of Australian companies rising up to the challenge of COVID-19.
“This is a fantastic example of how our strong manufacturing base in Australia puts us in a position to be able to make more of the medical supplies we need during the outbreak of this virus,” she said.
“We have a sufficient supply of masks at the moment, but this work will ensure we sustain that supply over the months ahead.
Forty-five million masks will go directly to the South Australia through the SA government, and another 100 million will be distributed around Australia by the federal government.
“This new production line won’t be up and running overnight, that’s why we’re attacking this challenge from all angles, including continuing work to secure further masks out there in the market,” Andrews said.
“This agreement also shows the great collaboration on display between the different levels of government and we will continue to work with the states and territories to secure the supplies we need.”
Australian textile and clothing manufacturers will also enter a round table discussion with the government about producing surgical gowns this week.