Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss visited Bennelong to inspect Astra Zeneca’s manufacturing facilities and also to meet with senior representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.
Together with Bennelong MP John Alexander, Mr Truss was given a guided tour by new AZ Country President Paul Spittle and Supply Chain Manager Steve Miladinski of the impressive machinery and production processes at AZ’s sterile manufacturing site in Macquarie Park.
Despite being very new to the role Paul Spittle was very much across his brief, detailing technicalities of the production process and answering many broader industry queries.
The Deputy PM was able to see firsthand the end to end packaging process of large volumes of respiratory medicine, of which 90% of production is shipped to China and Japan. AZ were also keen to highlight the flow-on economic benefits of local manufacturing with the large bespoke machinery designed and built by Australian businesses.
“As the nation’s largest exporter of pharmaceutical products, Astra Zeneca have developed an enviable reputation for production standards, safety and efficacy,” John Alexander said.
Following the tour the Deputy PM and John Alexander joined senior representatives from 11 pharmaceutical and other health-related companies, together with Medicines Australia and GMBA.
The Deputy PM covered a wide range of topics including high speed rail, Badgery’s Creek airport, TPP negotiations and future opportunities for engagement with the industry.
In a lighter moment the Deputy PM referred to John Alexander as “my boss” due to JA’s role as Chair of the Backbench Policy Committee on Infrastructure & Regional Development – Mr Truss’ portfolio.