How state plans to restock the shelves

SUPERMARKETS will be able to restock faster with a relaxation of freight rules to allow groceries to be trucked in 24 hours a day to finally fill shelves.

The State Government will today announce urgent reforms to help ensure supermarkets stay stocked to deal with the unprecedented demand for groceries as panic buyers rip toilet paper, soap, rice and other staples from shelves.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said new laws would address restrictions around the operating hours of loading docks and distribution centres supplying supermarkets.

IGA Maroochydore grocery manager Casey Lewis has sold out of hand sanitisers and face masks as locals panic-buy amid coronavirus fears. Picture: John McCutcheon
IGA Maroochydore grocery manager Casey Lewis has sold out of hand sanitisers and face masks as locals panic-buy amid coronavirus fears. Picture: John McCutcheon

The changes will come into effect within days and allow them to operate 24 hours a day if needed, the Premier said.

"We've seen unprecedented demand for groceries like non-perishable food, toilet paper and other essentials," Ms 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."

It comes as the Government sets up a new brains trust to deal with supply chain issues in emergency events.

Called the Essential Goods Supply Committee, Planning Minister Cameron Dick said it would work with retailers, manufacturers, meat and food processors, essential goods manufacturers, transport and logistics companies, wholesalers and unions to ensure essential supply chains keep flowing.

Coles trucks line up at the loading dock.
Coles trucks line up at the loading dock.

"There are no problems with fundamental supply now, and we want to keep it that way," Mr Dick said.

"The Department's central and regional staff will be working hard to ensure we identify any potential gaps in the supply chain and respond quickly."

The Queensland Government has implored people not to panic-buy, with Health Minister Steven Miles calling out those doing so as "selfish" as their actions were seeing the vulnerable go hungry.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has told anyone in isolation who genuinely runs out of food to call 13 HEALTH for a grocery delivery.

 


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