FEDERAL assistant freight transport minister Scott Buchholz has congratulated Woolworths on “a job well done” after visiting the Brisbane Regional Distribution Centre at Larapinta.

Mr Bucholz, who was there to discuss supply chain support and care packages for heavy vehicle and truck drivers, was also subject to Woolworths’ coronavirus measures.

“It is important that we, as government, have a clear understanding of the supply chains we’re relying on to get goods from one place to another,” he said.

“During the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been working closely with industry representatives, owner-drivers and businesses to ensure there was limited disruption to our supply chains.’

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He said one of the issues was protecting staff and truck drivers.

“The Woolworths team, to their absolute credit, have implemented strict coronavirus protection measures – including temperature checks, isolation stations, social distancing and sign-in requirements,” Minister Buchholz said.

Woolworths chief supply chain officer Paul Graham said about 4000 care packages were being distributed to drivers across the country.

“The last couple of months have been extremely busy across our entire supply chain network,” Mr Graham said.

“The additional volume of stock flowing through our distribution centres and into stores has only been made possible with the support of our valued transport partners and their teams.

“Many drivers will have made sacrifices at work or at home to keep the food and essentials flowing into stores for Australian communities.

“We appreciate everything they do for Woolworths, and the care packs are just a small way of giving something extra back and saying thank you for all their efforts.

Mr Buchholz said the Woolworths care packages were an additional measure to assist truck drivers and freight operators.

“These packs are a great idea to support our busy drivers to get on with their job safely and keep freight moving,” he said.

“Small measures such as this send a strong signal to our transport industry: thank you, we appreciate you and let’s work together.”

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