Monday, 23 March 2020
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for his question. This is one of the key issues that the government has been working on for many months now to ensure that those supplies are in place. That also means managing demand for those supplies, whether it is in the dental sector or even how that PPE equipment is being provided in particular contexts. It is being provided in the most urgent of cases. One of the most important discussions we had recently at the national cabinet was how elective surgery was being managed, because that also has a big draw on that type of equipment, as you would know. So I welcome decisions, like in Western Australia, for example, where they are confining elective surgery to stage 1 and urgent stage 2. I understand that that is now being practised around all states and territories. So, again, this is as much about managing demand as it is about ensuring supply, but I will ask the Minister for Health to add to this answer. The minister for industry may wish to answer as well, because she has been working to ensure a domestic supply to increase our capacity to produce that equipment here in Australia. That includes the support of the Australian Defence Force.