New Rocky health PPE warehouse to stock entire state
THE State Labor Party will build a Personal Protective Equipment warehouse in Rockhampton to help stock the entire state with masks, gowns, and gloves during a health emergency or natural disaster.
The warehouse will be four times the size of the current location, though its whereabouts has not yet been decided.
The place where PPE is stored at the moment will also be expanded to about 2,700 sqm, or enough to hold 730 pallets.
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Stephen Miles said he was aiming for “one of the biggest stockpiles in the world”.
“What the COVID pandemic has taught us – taught us all really – is how important it is to ensure that our health services have a sustainable supply chain,” he said.
“We want to make sure that we have a massive stockpile of all of the equipment that we need right throughout the state and the logistics that will ensure that we can distribute that stock into our health services as we need them.
“It might be that somewhere just outside of town, but close to transport routes makes sense, but we’ll work through that level of detail.”
Mr Miles said 25 per cent of the state’s PPE would be created in Queensland.
He said the warehouse was part of $120 million being spent to reinforce the state’s PPE stockpile.
LNP Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates applauded the announcement, but not the messenger.
“It’s great to have a bigger health supply stockpile, but you can’t trust the Palaszczuk Labor Government to deliver,” she said.
“The announcement came with no site, no plan and from a Labor government that oversaw another IT debacle, that was slammed by the Auditor-General last week with cost blowouts and not being able to track PPE demand in hospitals.
“Labor has no budget, no economic plan and no credibility.”
CQ Health Executive Director of Medical Services Dr Julieanne Graham said the warehouse would “secure the confidence of the [medical] staff”.
“Here in Central Queensland our transport lines have been disrupted during COVID: we don’t have as many flights into Central Queensland as we have previously, so the stocks of our PPE have been a concern to staff,” she said.
Ms Graham said that right now, Central Queensland had 95 days’ worth of N95 masks, under “normal use” conditions.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said: “The new facility that’s being built will stand Central Queensland in good stead.
“Although we never ran out of PPE in Queensland, it came close.
“We did have a stockpile, but it wasn’t a stockpile that expected to see what would happen as this happened with the coronavirus pandemic.”