CHANGES have been announced by the Queensland government to help ensure supermarkets stay stocked to deal with unprecedented demand for groceries.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said new laws would enable the government to address planning conditions that currently restrict the operating hours of loading docks and distribution centres.
The changes are to come into effect in days and allow them to operate 24 hours a day when necessary.
“We’ve seen unprecedented demand for groceries like non-perishable food, toilet paper and other essentials,” Premier Palaszczuk 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 Australian Logistics Council congratulated the Queensland Government for its move.
“The Queensland Government should be applauded for taking this decisive step, which will support the logistics sector and local communities in the face of this unprecedented situation,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham.
“As ALC has emphasised… one of the biggest challenges to keeping supermarkets and other retail stores stocked in this period is the ability to physically get goods to consumers,” he said.
“The most effective way to overcome instances of panic buying is to reassure the Australian community about the availability of essential day-to-day items, and the best way to provide that reassurance is to make certain products are on shelves when consumers need them.”
“Curfews on delivery vehicles imposed by local governments have been inhibiting that outcome, and the Queensland government’s decisive action is a welcome recognition that the logistics sector must be supported in its efforts to get goods to consumers during these extraordinary times.”
Mr Coningham said other state and territory governments should match Queensland’s move. “We welcome the support of the Queensland Government in working with Coles to ensure we can get more deliveries into our stores and customers can buy the things they need.”