Three Qld manufacturers secure funding boost to strengthen local PPE capability

Image Credit: Queensland Government

The Queensland Government has announced funding boost for three local manufacturers through its $50 million Essential Goods and Supply Chain Program to shore up the state’s ability to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) in the face of pandemics.

The funding has been awarded to Queensland companies Crystalaid, Belgotex Fabrics and Olitek to help them expand their production capacity in the area of health PPE and medical devices.

Tingalpa based Crystalaid, a 70-year-old Queensland micro-electronics company and part of the Grabbas Group, will use the funding to gain the relevant certification needed to produce medical devices including ventilators.

Ross McKinnon from Crystalaid said the investment would provide the opportunity to keep staff engaged and employed during a time when economic recovery is critical for Queensland.

“Crystalaid has most recently been primarily a manufacturer for the defence industry with their AS9100D (aerospace and defence) certification, but this is an opportunity for us to get prepared to assist the community whenever needed as one of the local manufacturers of the highest quality of specialised devices,” he said.

“Our company’s development of a medical manufacturing capability plan to produce medical devices onshore including ventilators will also bring supply chain benefits via key partnerships with local suppliers of materials and expertise.

“We appreciate the support of the Queensland Government and are excited to move forward with our plans of boosting local medical manufacturing capability.”

Acacia Ridge-based Belgotex Fabrics, Queensland’s only major textile manufacturer, will diversify into tight weave fabrics needed to make frontline health workers’ medical scrubs uniforms and more, whereas  Northgate-based Olitek will manufacture large volumes of high-quality, functional, TGA-accredited OzVader ventilators.

Acting Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the funding would help the three Queensland business to boost their manufacturing capability in the wake of the impacts from COVID-19.

“As part of the Queensland Government’s strategy to Unite and Recover for Queensland jobs, we’re continuing to support Queensland businesses and manufacturers to expand their production capacity, especially in the area of health PPE and medical devices,” Mr Miles said.

“By continuing to back our mighty manufacturing sector, we’re further boosting Queensland’s ability to respond quickly at a State level and to also join the global pandemic response.

“These businesses can now reprioritise or pivot production to produce ventilators, medical scrubs, and PPE testing equipment, to protect our communities and front-line health care heroes.

“The program also has the potential to create hundreds more jobs for the manufacturing sector.”

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