THE Australian Logistics Council has urged the Victorian government to engage with industry over the details of its Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions to minimise supply chain disruptions.

“We welcome [this week’s] announcement by Premier Daniel Andrews that warehouses and distribution centres for supermarkets and medical and personal protective equipment will have longer to implement their requirements,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham.

“The extension of that deadline to midnight on Sunday 9 August and the introduction of some other flexibilities will help towards minimising disruption.”

“Nonetheless, this remains a very challenging situation – and we strongly urge the Victorian Government to continue working closely with industry to make certain reliable access to everyday items beyond the supermarket and medical supply sectors can be maintained.”

Mr Coningham said it was important to remember there are national distribution centres located in Victoria that service the requirements of retail outlets across Australia.

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“The industry remains deeply concerned that the requirement to reduce staffing levels in these Victorian-based warehouses and national distribution centres to 67% of daily total capacity will have a flow on impact beyond Victoria,” he said.

“While in-store retail activity in Victoria has been severely curtailed under Stage 4 restrictions that is not the case nationally. It is important to remember that supply chains do not end at state borders.”

Mr Coningham said they were particularly concerned the proposed workforce reduction requirements for the medical and PPE sector risked the supply of critical health care items.

“In a time of major health crisis, we urge the Victorian government to avoid risking further disruptions to Australia’s health system,” he said.

“We continue to urge the Victorian Government to work with industry and adjust restrictions where necessary to ensure national distribution centres can maintain the reliable supply of goods for communities, in Victoria and across the nation.”

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