A South Australian packaging manufacturer has reached agreement with the federal and state governments to produce 145 million masks – 100 million for the National Medical Stockpile and 45 million for South Australia.
The Detmold Group will begin making the surgical masks and respirators from its Adelaide factory. It will employ up to an extra 160 staff and invest over $1 million in local supplies.
Federal industry minister Karen Andrews said, “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.
“We have a sufficient supply of masks at the moment but this work will ensure we sustain that supply over the months ahead.
“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.
“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.
“It’s important to stress though, this is not just about increasing the supply of our masks and other supplies. We need all Australians to play their part and follow our strict social distancing rules to help slow the spread and ease demand.”
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said today’s announcement is an example of state and federal governments working together to fight the spread of COVID-19.
“This is part of the Government’s strong plan for securing South Australian jobs and protecting our healthcare workers and the community against the spread of COVID-19,” said Premier Marshall.
“Through this partnership we can be confident we will have an uninterrupted supply of respirator and surgical masks to provide our doctors and nurses working on the frontline.”
Detmold Group CEO Alf Ianniello said his company is proud to be stepping in to help during this unprecedented health crisis.
“Detmold is a South Australian company with a long history of employing locals, so to be able to assist with both flattening the curve in this time of crisis and helping keep South Australians in work is immensely rewarding.”
“Work has already commenced on the manufacturing facility which is located in Brompton, South Australia and production will start by May of this year.
“We expect to have the capacity to manufacture over 20 million masks per month by June, and the facility will produce both surgical masks and respirator masks.”