We’re working hard to support government, industry and the community through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our department is working to:
- source and facilitate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), critical medical supplies and ventilators
- support transport and distribution across many industries
- support the energy and resources sectors
We’re working closely with Australian industry and the Department of Health to source and facilitate PPE, critical medical supplies and ventilators for the National Medical Stockpile.
We’re working closely with Australian industry to continue ramping up local manufacturing and supply of critical products. See some of the latest developments:
- Four Australian-owned and operated manufacturers have teamed up with an international medical technology company, using local supply chains, to make emergency hospital beds, read about the Stryker Project
- Australian manufacturer ResMed has ramped up its ventilator production and has delivered more than 3000 ventilators to the Australian Government
- South Australian company DetMold have pivoted from packaging manufacturing to produce masks and respirators
- Victorian company Med-Con, Australia’s only medical mask manufacturing company, are working to boost medical mask production to help meet demand
- Ego Pharmaceuticals, Melbourne-based manufacturer of Aquium hand sanitiser, are increasing their production of sanitiser products and hiring more staff to ensure round the clock production
- Victorian company Grey Innovation are working across government and with a consortium of industry partners to produce 2000 medically certified ventilators. They have begun delivering them already.
- Australia’s largest ethanol producers have indicated they can make more pharmaceutical grade ethanol for hand sanitiser production, and we’re connecting them with local manufacturers. See how Manildra Group is ramping up production.
- Clets Linen was the first Australian manufacturer to pivot and produce thousands of medical grade surgical gowns for frontline workers in the fight against the pandemic. They will provide 3750 disposable isolation gowns to the National medical stockpile in their first production run.
We’re backing Australian manufacturers to modernise how they do business. 200 projects will gain support from the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund to create an expected 2,600 new jobs at this critical time. See funding for manufacturers to modernise and reskill on the business.gov.au website.
We’re monitoring stocks and demand, and reporting back to business on trends so they can make decisions quickly.
The Australian Information Industry Association has developed a website www.australianbusinesscontinuity.com.au to support Australian businesses working remotely.
See how businesses are pivoting in their response to COVID-19:
- ACT based non-alcoholic beverage company Altina Drinks have leveraged knowledge gained from participating in their Small business digital champions project by offering subscription based services through their online platform
- Marketing and social media consultancy Social Ocean has implemented learning software to create courses for their customers online
We're ensuring products and equipment meet the highest standards.
PPE and hand sanitiser standards and conformance
We’re working with Australian Technical Infrastructure Alliance peak bodies to ensure PPE and hand sanitiser quality. See the standards and conformance information summary for PPE and hand sanitiser.
Read more about Australia’s standards and conformance infrastructure.
NMI COVID-19 measurement services
The National Measurement Institute is:
- working to quickly establish a mask testing capability to meet relevant documentary standards
- helping to ensure that PPE, instruments and tests used by laboratories and frontline clinical staff have appropriate quality controls
- supporting manufacturers to re-tool for urgently needed products
- testing hand sanitisers for alcohol content to ensure effectiveness against COVID-19
See our COVID-19 measurement services.
What is a reusable cloth face mask? What should manufacturers consider if they are looking to supply the market?
There is detailed advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as Commonwealth, state and territory government health agencies.
Guidance on making a cloth mask
- World Health Organisation: a collection of resources, including video tutorials on reusable cloth mask materials and composition.
- Australian Government Department of Health: Detailed instructions for making a cloth face mask, including diagrams.
- Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
- Health Protection NSW
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has clarified that these types of face masks are not intended for use in a clinical setting or explicitly to prevent the transmission of disease between persons and therefore are not subject to the same regulations as surgical masks or some respirators. More information is on the TGA website.
Health advice on the use of face coverings in the community to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 may impact on consumer demand for reusable cloth face masks, and is subject to change. The Department of Health website provides up to date advice.
Australia’s Chief Scientist is leading a team of experts from across Australia and New Zealand to provide rapid answers to pressing COVID-19 questions. Ministers and key decision makers can put questions to the Rapid research information forum. Some questions already answered include:
CSIRO’s been given $220 million to upgrade its Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness high containment biosecurity research facility. This will ensure scientists can continue identifying, preventing and responding to the increasing threat of diseases, including those spreading from animals to humans.
Questacon, Australia’s science and technology centre in Canberra is moving science learning programs online while the physical centre is closed.
We’re working to ensure reliable and secure energy supply for all Australians through and beyond the pandemic. This includes electricity, gas and liquid fuel like petrol, diesel and jet fuel.
Read more on energy.gov.au.
All four portfolio Cabinet Ministers have issued media releases and/or speeches in response to COVID-19.
- Vaccine manufacturing agreement paves way for possible 2021 roll-out - 7 September 2020, joint media release
- Vaccine agreement would mean free priority treatment for Australians - 19 August 2020, joint media release
- Call for local manufacturers to be ready to produce vaccine - 11 August 2020, joint media release
- Melbourne-based mask testing facility opens - 6 August 2020
- Pandemic project delivers first Australian-made ventilators - 1 August 2020
- $10m boost for food supply chain resilience - 28 July 2020
- Automotive innovation to fuel COVID recovery - 8 July 2020
- Helping businesses go digital for COVID recovery - 26 June 2020
- Growing Australia's PPE capability - 15 June 2020
- Backing locally made goods - 1 June 2020
- Fashion industry post-COVID - 27 May 2020
- National Press Club Address (transcript) - Canberra - 20 May 2020
- Matchmaking platform to boost local manufacturing supply chains - 19 May 2020
- Aussie manufacturers unite to produce emergency hospital bed – 29 April 2020
- Defence and Industry join forces for rapid face shield production – 22 April 2020, joint media release
- Industry consortium to manufacture 2000 ventilators – 9 April 2020
- CSIRO upgrading world class facility to fight diseases like coronavirus – 4 April 2020, joint media release
- Helping energy consumers and retailers affected by COVID-19 - 6 August 2020
- More support on energy bills amid COVID-19 - 28 July 2020
- Energy bill relief for small businesses amid COVID-19 - 5 July 2020
- Renewables drive emissions reduction despite COVID-19 - 3 June 2020
- G20 Energy Ministers work together to stabilise energy market – 11 April 2020
- Energy retailers and networks must protect Australian households and small businesses that have gone into hibernation – 27 March 2020
- Post-COVID recovery the subject of Japan and Korea meetings - 2 June 2020
- Resources sector steps up in battle against COVID-19 – 24 April 2020
- Resources Ministers discuss challenges to sector amid COVID-19 –16 April 2020
- 'Go Local First' to help Australian businesses with COVID-19 recovery - 10 July 2020
- Campaign to get small business back on track - 27 May 2020
- Infection-control training fast-tracked for re-opening businesses - 16 May 2020
- New toolkit to help businesses get back to work safely - 5 May 2020
- Supporting sole traders through the effects of Coronavirus – 27 March 2020
- Helpline for businesses impacted by COVID-19 – 23 March 2020
For ministerial media releases visit the Ministers for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources website.
Email COVID@industry.gov.au to offer your assistance, or to ask about our department’s COVID-19 response. We’ve received a high volume of offers of assistance. We’ll reply as quickly as possible, and thank you for your patience and understanding if there are delays.
If you are a business offering assistance, please include:
- your ABN or ACN
- the primary products or services you may be able to provide
- relevant certifications for any medical-grade products
- details of your production capacity and delivery timing