19 March 2020

Manufacturing Australia: Response to COVID-19

Manufacturing Australia member companies are enforcing a range of strict safety and operational measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of employees and the communities in which we operate. Crucially, these measures are intended to keep businesses operating and keep people in their jobs throughout this challenging period.

Some of the measures in place at Manufacturing Australia member companies include:

  • Enforcing strict protocols for hygiene, cleaning and rules for personal interaction onsite
  • Segregating teams and conducting thorough clean downs between team shifts
  • Ensuring social distancing onsite
  • Establishing clear protocols for responding if/when an employee is suspected and/or confirmed to have been infected
  • Banning all non-essential air travel, both internationally and domestically
  • Eliminating face to face meetings wherever possible and significantly restricting visitors to sites
  • Enforcing strict rules for sales and marketing teams when interacting with customers
  • Cancelling attendance at events, large gatherings and forums
  • Adjusting supply chains to ensure supply of the inputs needed to keep domestic manufacturing operating

Manufacturers are taking that proactive, cautious, approach because safety, health and sustainability is at the core of how we operate and because manufacturing is an essential industry for the nation.

It is vital that Australian manufacturers keep operating throughout this period.

Our role is to keep our plants operating safely to produce the everyday essentials Australia needs. That includes keeping household products on supermarket, department and hardware store shelves, getting fertiliser to our farmers, raw materials to our miners and steel, cement, aluminium and building products to our infrastructure, construction and household sectors.

Just as important is keeping supply chains intact: the freight, transport and logistics infrastructure, and key inputs of energy and raw materials, on which all Australians rely, must continue operating so that we can get products to where people need them, when they need them.

Manufacturing Australia welcomes the advice from the Chief Medical Officer and the National Cabinet that broader shut down measures are not recommended at this time, and that measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 should be longer term, more sustainable measures.

Australia has a resilient and competitive manufacturing sector. That resilience will be important through this challenging period, and during the economic recovery to come.


Contact: Ben Eade, 02 6198 3285