Labor Senator Deborah O'Neill has called on manufacturers in the Riverina to help produce medical supplies and personal protective equipment for the fight against coronavirus.
Senator O'Neill said Australia's inability to consistently access adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) remained a major concern within the community.
"I have GPs and workers from the disability and aged care sector calling me every day because they can't access PPE," she said.
"They are being forced to source their own supply of PPE, find creative workarounds, or simply go without.
"This is dangerous from a personal safety standpoint and also in terms of limiting the spread of the virus.
"We are all in this together. So as the Duty Senator for Riverina I'm putting out a call to manufacturing businesses in the region who are in a position to adapt their manufacturing process to provide this equipment, to please do so."
NSW Business Chamber Riverina Murray regional manager Andrew Cottrill said his group was looking into how the region's manufacturers could contribute to fighting the pandemic.
"We do have plastics manufacturers who could help with gloves and face masks," he said.
"We are hearing that whilst we can manufacture a lot of hand wash, they can't find people to make the pump bottles.
"There is a range of products that are needed and we would urge any businesses across the Riverina-Murray that could produce these items to register with the NSW government's procurement."
Federal Industry Minister Karen Andrews and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian have also urged manufacturers to switch their output to PPE, hand sanitiser and nasal swabs for coronavirus tests.
"This is a call to arms for NSW manufacturers to look at ways to convert production lines into making the items we so desperately need," Ms Berejiklian said.
"We have the ability within NSW to meet our local demand and the Government is moving to help manufacturers re-tool quickly to achieve this.
"Importantly, providing this opportunity to manufacturers will also allow some businesses to keep people in jobs when they may not have been able to do so."
Manufacturers can lodge a request for information (RFI) to produce medical supplies and personal protective equipment until 5pm on April 7th.
Business that may be able to produce PPE can register at the AusTender website.
Manufacturers who want to register their capacity for component parts or other important goods, so gaps in the production cycle can be filled, can do so at the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre's register.
We have removed our paywall from our stories about coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we aim to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.