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More mask machines arrive at Med-Con for fight against COVID-19

By Spencer Fowler Steen

In a win for local industry and employment, Australia's only mask manufacturer - Med-Con, based near Shepparton - has received another machine from Echuca, with an additional machine scheduled to arrive today.

The new mask-making machine brings the total to seven and Med-Con will have 10 by the end of the month.

Operations managers Ray Stockwell said it had been a "fantastic" effort all-round.

“It's really good to see once it’s up and running, we’ve worked hard to get here over the last few months,” he said.

“It’s a huge team effort — we’ve had departments of industry, defence and health, the off-site team and all my team here working together.”

“We’re trying to invent 28 hours in the day.”

What was a 14-person operation in March, is now on track to hit 105-110 employees by the end of the month or sooner, Mr Stockwell said.

In response to medical advice masks can slow transmission of COVID-19 by two-thirds, Premier Daniel Andrews recently ordered 2 million reusable masks for the public, with a further 1 million single-use masks for at-risk people.

Mr Stockwell said with Med-Con currently working on an existing mask order from the Victorian Government, there was potential that the company could be supplying part of the additional 2 million mask order.

Med-Con has also been operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week since March to fulfill a 60 million mask order from the Federal Government by November; a monumental operation which Mr Stockwell said Med-Con was on task to complete with extra staff and training.