The NSW government reportedly sourced $1 billion worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) from overseas despite putting a call out to local manufacturers.
Sky News reports that a month after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced she was commissioning a call to arms to local manufacturers to start making personal protective equipment amid the coronavirus crisis, the contracts have gone overseas.
The government was looking for manufacturers help supply medical equipment and hygiene products to essential services workers.
Sky political editor Andrew Clennell said the government received 1800 expressions of interest from companies after making the announcement at the start of April.
He said it was understood a shortlist of 100 were made from that list.
On May 4, a month later, the NSW government announced it had purchased $1 billion in PPE equipment.
“But here’s the kicker, all of it was from offshore, including China,” Mr Clennell said.
Mr Clennell said he was waiting for a statement from the government on how many local contractors had been commissioned.
“They say a few actually have but admit there is not actually that much of a need for PPE at the moment after their team, NSW Health and Mr Olympics Rod McGeoch looked to procure these other supplies,” he said.
“Too bad for the 1800 local contractors who put their hands up.
“Here is a sign of the difficulties we face as the federal government talks up sovereignty and getting manufacturing going in the Australian economy.”