An Australian-owned global provider of healthcare solutions is set to step up and plug the personalised protective equipment (PPE) gap thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s $150 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund.
Assistant Minister for Health, Nikki Boyd said Aspen Medical had upgraded their facility in Brendale to manufacture clinical grade face masks in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Ms Boyd said that securing local production of PPE was part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to ensure we can continue to safely manage the risks of the COVID19 pandemic and demand for PPE in the future.
“Our plans to domestically manufacture more PPE is part of Queensland’s plans to support local jobs in the global economic slowdown.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to bolster our own PPE stock levels than of relying on imports to help cover the nation’s PPE needs,” Ms Boyd said.
“We need to be prepared, have domestic production capability, be able to add to our national stockpile and have the ability to help our neighbouring nations.
“Backing innovative Australian companies like Aspen Medical who are willing to step up and commit to the process of protecting Australia’s frontline health workers and grow Queensland’s base of highly skilled workers is something we are proud to do.”
Ms Boyd said Aspen Medical had invested approximately $2 million to purchase cutting-edge machines to produce three-ply and N95 face masks, to fit out the factory and commission the machinery.
“The company expects 35 new full-time jobs will be created in the first year of operation and in the future will look to expand its manufacturing capabilities across other product lines for both the domestic and export markets,” she said.
Historically PPE used in Australia has primarily been imported. In the specific case of medical masks only five per cent of Australia’s annual usage is produced in Australia, coming from one small factory in Shepparton Victoria.
Aspen Medical was founded in 2003, operates across Australia, the Pacific, the United States, Europe, Africa and the Gulf region and employs more than 2000 highly trained professionals.
It was named as the joint winner of the Exporter of the Year at the 2018 Australian Export Awards in addition to winning the Health and Biotechnology category.
The new entity will trade as Aspen Medical Manufacturing and is a joint venture between Aspen Medical and Breckler Group.
Glenn Keys AO, Founder and Executive Chairman of Aspen Medical said Aspen Medical Manufacturing will commence production in June and will have the capacity to manufacture at least one million masks per week.
“Our Queensland facility will produce PPE to the highest Australian standards and ultimately source all raw material from within Australia,” Mr Keys said.
Overall the Palaszczuk Government has committed more than $6 billion worth of COVID-19 support initiatives.
The Palaszczuk Government’s economic recovery strategy Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs sets out the plan to kick-start the economy and get Queenslanders back to work in more jobs and more industries.
Learn more about how the Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund is supporting our recovery and Making It For Queensland initiative by securing projects and investment for the state.