House debates

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Constituency Statements

Defence Industry, COVID-19: Health

10:56 am

Photo of Luke HowarthLuke Howarth (Petrie, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services) Share this | | Hansard source

A few weeks ago I stopped into a business in North Lakes that just had been awarded a Morrison government Defence Global Competitiveness Grant. This is a federal initiative that allows for existing businesses to expand into export markets, creating more jobs for Australians. Safe Defence trading as Poseidon is winning praise from the world's defence forces because of its revolutionary designs engineered by CEO David Manzi. I have an endorsement letter here from the United States Department of Defense following its evaluations of the Poseidon carbon fibre evacuation stretcher. They write: 'The light weight and foldable design are a great advancement over what is currently used, with what looks like a 40 pound reduction in system weight.' That's almost 20 kilos lighter, which makes a difference when you're carrying these products on rescue choppers and so forth used in the military. 'The light weight and foldable design are a great advancement.' David explained to me that the current stretchers that the Black Hawk choppers use are brilliant but heavy. For every pound carried they have got to carry a pound of fuel. So this design, made and manufactured in my electorate of Petrie, is going to save militaries around the world a lot on fuel. This is an awesome advance. The letter signs off that this stretcher 'is something that your company can be proud to distribute' and recommends that the Air Force should investigate bulk purchases of this stretcher. That is a stunning success for Safe Defence and Poseidon. That is just their lightweight stretcher. They also have other products that I'll talk about later.

With 2020 being the year of the nurse, the Australian College of Nursing wants to give back to its members across Australia to thank them for their efforts through the height of the pandemic. Nurses have never been more important. Last week, as well, I visited Redcliffe Hospital as I looked at the new MRI machine that the state government has installed with federal funding via the federally funded MRI licence. I met some of the nurses up there. To support nurses and to give back ACN announced it would award $1 million of scholarships in leader's mindset masterclass series to support the development of nursing leaders across Australia and give them the tools and knowledge to empower them personally and professionally. I met Claire Cox from Clontarf, who works at Redcliffe Hospital, and Michelle Crawford of Metro North Hospital and Health Service, who lives at Margate. They are both great women who have been nurses a long time, and they have a valued perspective about this global pandemic. They mentioned that for the first time nurses are a little bit worried about their families and contracting COVID, but they have done a great job through the last year. I congratulate them all and want to thank them for their service.