Qld Govt expands storage facility for PPE supplies
The state government will boost Queensland’s personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies with an expanded bulk storage site at Inala, which will house equipment by tens of millions of pieces. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the expansion was about futureproofing the state’s PPE supplies against COVID-19 and any other threat.
“The pandemic put pressure on stocks worldwide, but Queensland has managed exceptionally well. Now we will go further, to ensure Queensland always has enough PPE supplies, so our health workforce is protected no matter what happens next,” Palaszczuk said.
Palaszczuk predicts that the expanded site in Inala will provide space and enough critical supplies of PPE for the state’s healthcare workers. The storage site will feed into distribution centres, which collectively contain in excess of 100 days of supply of key PPE items, including more than 900 days of surgical masks, more than 200 days of medical gowns and close to 300 days of gloves.
“We initially set up the storage site early in the pandemic at Inala as an overflow facility in response to the growing demand for PPE, and it’s now being expanded by 50%. The original site is currently holding approximately 120 million pieces of PPE across 9500 pallet spaces, including those all-important items such as surgical masks, gloves and protective eyewear,” Palaszczuk said.
From September, the facility will span 15,500 m2, with an extra 4500 pallet spaces. Based on current stock, Palaszczuk predicts that storage will increase to around 180 million pieces of PPE. Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the storage site will add to the existing distribution centres and regional warehouses across the state. Miles noted that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the global critical stock shortages of PPE, the vulnerabilities of supply chains and the importance of access to sufficient stock.
Miles acknowledges that Queensland has done well during the COVID-19 pandemic, but called for Queenslanders to remain vigilant and prepared for a potential re-emergence of the virus. Miles attributed Queensland’s relative lack of stock shortages to the state’s strong response to keep cast numbers low, supply chain planning and the ability to store significant volumes of PPE in distribution centres and warehouses.
“This is about ensuring we have more secure supplies as a state and that all our frontline workers have access to the necessary supplies and equipment to keep them safe, support their work for the community and enable them to continue to deliver the outstanding services that they provide. Thankfully, Queensland has not experienced the critical stock shortages realised by other healthcare providers across the world,” Miles said.
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