Submission to Greg Hunt, Minister for Health

Brian Tonkin, CEO of the Drycleaning Institute of Australia has contacted Mr Greg Hunt, Minister for Health, to request that drycleaning (and laundry) be declared an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Please see below for the full text of the DIA's submission:


Dear Minister Hunt,


I wish to confirm the Laundry and Drycleaning Industry, both retail and commercial is considered an essential service to the health and safety of the community and as such not subject to planned future business closures. Such confirmation is based on but not limited to the following:

  • Medical Centres such as hospitals, smaller day centres and clinics are serviced on a daily basis to ensure correct standards of hygiene are applied to linen, gowns, uniforms, etc.
  • Essential services such as Police, Ambulance, Fire Fighters, require both drycleaning and laundry.
  • Contracts are in place for allied essential services such as refineries for worker’s overalls and protective equipment.
  • Hotels:
  • Where staff may be exposed to the COVID-19 due to contact with local and overseas guests and:
  • Hotel rooms are used as an isolation area for an individual family person not wishing to infect other family and friends.
  • Airlines – staff uniforms where many drycleaners and laundries nationally have arrangements with both operational staff and the airline.

Professional cleaning both laundry and drycleaning have a history of being able to kill aggressive viruses. There is a high level of expertise applied to the efficient processing of such work. Whether it be disinfectants combined with temperature in the laundry process, or the combination of drycleaning solvents, together with the temperatures associated with the drying and finishing processes this combination provides a very high level of assurance. It is considered home laundry is unlikely to have the same or consistent results. 

Thank you for your time to review this email, and the stance the Government has taken with regard combatting the virus on a national level and in our instance – small business.

Kind regards

 Brian Tonkin




P: +61 3 5908 4921

DIA Partners & Suppliers