Manufacturing must make comeback: Brock

THE impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on Australia is a wake-up call for the nation to reduce its reliance on importing products and return to local manufacturing, according to Frome MP, Geoff Brock.

“We are, as a nation, far too reliant on production from China,” he said.

“We are a resource-rich nation, we can’t afford to be as reliant on one country, so I see this as a real wake-up call.”

About 95 per cent of the world’s pharmaceutical supply is produced in China.

Mr Brock said he spoke with staff in a supermarket in Port Pirie on Monday who revealed they had been victims of verbal abuse in recent days, with many shelves stripped bare.

“It’s frustrating but we can’t take it out on staff just trying to do their job,” he said.

Mr Brock said a lot of the panic buying taking place is irrational, given two thirds of the nation’s food production is exported, meaning there will be plenty of stock on supermarket shelves for all.

He commended supermarkets on their measures to accommodate the disabled and elderly to purchase their groceries.

“I think it’s terrific, but we all need to step back a little bit, take a breath and work to abide by the guidelines and recommendations regarding large gatherings,” Mr Brock said.

“There haven’t been any positive detections in the region to my knowledge but we can’t be complacent, we have to be proactive and assist others where we can.”