By Juliano Oliveira
Supermarkets will be allowed to restock their products around the clock as Queensland has been experiencing an unprecedented demand for groceries due to coronavirus.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that current laws restricting operating hours of loading docks and distribution centres will be modified.
In a few days, Ms Palaszczuk expects, the changes will come into effect opening the way for a 24 hours-a-day-operation when necessary.
“We’ve seen unprecedented demand for groceries like non-perishable food, toilet paper and other essentials,” the Premier said.
“We are not running out of products.
“But we need to make these changes to get products on the shelves as quickly as possible.
“The message is clear – you do not need to panic buy or unnecessarily stockpile products.
“Our mighty Queensland manufacturers and food processors are keeping supplies flowing.”
Customers in isolation unable to head to the supermarket can call 13HEALTH, responsible for organising the food to be delivered.
Planning Minister Cameron Dick said that his department is working with industry to identify problems and to take actions to ensure supply chains remain strong.
Chris Peters, General Manager, Queensland Woolworths Supermarkets said the demand had been unprecedented.
“Our teams and many of our suppliers have been working round-the-clock to replenish our stores with essential items,” he said.
“The short-term exemption from delivery curfews will allow our teams more flexibility and additional delivery windows to respond to customer demand.”
Jerry Farrell, Coles Queensland State General Manager welcomed the planning changes.
“Our team members and suppliers have been working hard to ensure our customers can continue to do their weekly shop,” he said.
Mr Dick also said the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning will also establish a new Essential Goods Supply Committee.
“ The committee will work with retailers, manufacturers, meat and food processors, essential goods manufacturers, transport & logistics companies, wholesalers and unions to ensure essential supply chains keep flowing during an emergency event.”
“Our message to business and industry is that if you encounter any problems with production, supply, import or manufacturing, our Government is ready to respond quickly to help address those problems the best we can,” Mr Dick said
“There are no problems with fundamental supply now, and we want to keep it that way.”