State signs crucial $1.2m mask deal
THE state government has taken another step toward securing an essential goods supply chain signing a $1.2 million deal with a plastics manufacturer to start making much-needed medical face masks.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Crestmead manufacturer Evolve this morning and said the deal was one of many to ensure Queensland has priority access to its own supply of urgently needed goods.
She said it was essential the state controlled its own supply chain as it prepared for an expected surge of Covid-19 patients in hospitals.
The company, which usually makes everything from bee hives with taps to pools and tyre treads, has started making 60,000 N95 high-quality masks a day.
The masks, which can help filter out fine particles, will be available for both frontline healthcare workers and the public with Queensland Health and the Department of Housing and Public Works locked into a three-year deal.
Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD
"We can and we must make these lifesaving products in Queensland," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We are prepared to back our manufacturers with long-term offtake agreements to ensure they keep manufacturing them here.
"Evolve's generosity, creativity and agility as we get ready for an expected surge of Covid-19 patients in our hospitals has been nothing short of inspiring."
Evolve Group's managing director Ty Hermans said the company was used to solving complex engineering challenges, but this was "certainly our most important project'.
Evolve is one of a dozen state manufacturers who have joined the war effort.
Last week, Erebus Racing team, which sported the Logan City name on its 2017 Bathurst 1000 winning Commodore, joined the global fight against COVID-19 using the resources of its supercar's team workshop to build lifesaving ventilator masks.
Beenleigh Rum Distillery had already signed up and is in full production of an ethanol-based hand sanitiser, after there was a rush on products in supermarkets.
Browns Plains flour manufacturer has also stepped up production and has put on additional staff to crank up milling for breads and other doughs.
Enoggera's The Bearded Chap is making hand sanitiser as is the Perfect Potion.
State development Minister Cameron Dick said more local companies would be approached and joining the war efforts.
While at the Crestmead factory, Mr Dick launched a grass roots campaign called #MakingItForQLD.
"We want local manufacturers to post pictures of the great work they are doing to combat COVID-19 and to keep Queensland running," he said.
Originally published as State signs crucial $1.2m mask deal