The past few months have exposed Australia’s vulnerability of reliance upon imported goods, especially products such as PPE, safety products and industrial consumables. This supply gap puts lives at risk.

It’s a clear example of how susceptible we are to any change in global circumstances. During the COVID-19 pandemic, overseas manufacturers that the world has relied upon for so long have looked after their own country first, ahead of their export obligations.

During the crunch, many Australian factories and workshops have retooled and repurposed equipment and processes.

Global Spill has manufactured spill and safety equipment in Melbourne for almost three decades. Over the years, it has witnessed the decline in Australian manufacturing and ambivalence in support for Australian Made products.

Focus has been fixed squarely on price, with supply chain security sacrificed to save a few cents here and there.

“There’s a very common misconception that Australian Made means more expensive and this kind of thinking puts up a barrier before we even enter the race” says Brad Lowson of Global Spill & Safety.

“The reality is, it doesn’t always cost more and our loyal customers have enjoyed stable pricing and uninterrupted supply over the past few years, and in particular, the past few months.”

As Australia’s only manufacturer of absorbent polypropylene, Global Spill has a responsibility to make essential safety equipment for Australian workplaces. As such, it continues to supply this important material to its customers while other importers have run out of stock.

Global Spill’s locally manufactured range of products such as safety cabinets and spill pallets remains uninterrupted; manufacturing has continued throughout the pandemic.

Another encouraging development to come from the crisis is the renewed support for Australian Made products and local businesses that stems from both government and the community.

This must continue beyond COVID-19. Lowson believes the appreciation and support currently enjoyed by Australian Made needs to become embedded within business and the community.

It’s also a timely reminder of the indirect contribution that buying Australian Made makes to the Australian economy. Global Spill employs over 140 Australians, each with a family depending upon them. The economic multiplier effect cannot be understated – Australian manufacturers pay Australian taxes, keep more profits in Australia and are not taking money out of Australia to pay overseas.

What does this mean for the future?

Australian businesses must wholeheartedly value and support Australian Made, and at times be prepared to pay a little more for that. According to Lowson, the domestic economic benefit alone is enormous. “It is good for Australia in the long run and this needs to be a long game.”

The Federal Government must consider the economic value of Australian Made throughout all its tendering processes, low and high value tenders alike.

Australia must learn the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, and be willing and able to become a self-sufficient manufacturing nation. We can do it.

Global Spill & Safety
1300 774 557

Related news & editorials

  1. 22.09.2021
    by      In
    The Northern Territory (NT) Government in partnership with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) has opened applications to the total $7.5 million Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund (AMEF) as appreciation for local manufacturing rises in the Territory.
    The Fund delivers on the... Read More
  2. 22.09.2021
    by      In
    Towns split by interstate borders are used to living as one community so industries and businesses on the border face unique challenges.
    Therefore, The Victorian Government will deploy a team of locally based ‘Border Brokers’ to support industries and businesses impacted by restrictions on Victoria... Read More
  3. 22.09.2021
    by      In
    Popular snack foods; Kettle Chips, Thins, Cheezels and CC’s could soon be manufactured in a new premises in the Western suburbs.
    A $222 million development proposal could see the Snack Brands Australia warehouse and distribution centre on Distribution Drive in Orchard Hills expanded to include food... Read More
  4. 20.09.2021
    by      In
    Boeing and RMIT are joining forces in an exciting collaboration to develop local solutions for the manufacturing of space equipment.
    “Australia’s burgeoning space sector requires the production of complex, low volume, bespoke components not suited to conventional manufacturing techniques,” Boeing... Read More