The news that the supermarket curfews have been lifted in Queensland and Victoria has been broadly welcomed, and other states are being urged to follow suit.
Queensland has confirmed it will legislate to override curfews on overnight deliveries imposed by local councils for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that supermarket shelves can be re-stocked efficiently. This will allow consumers to more readily access the essential goods they need.
“Our members tell us that local government curfews are the single greatest impediment to restocking Australia’s supermarkets,” said Ben Maguire Australian Trucking Association CEO. “The new Queensland laws will enable supermarket loading docks to operate 24 hours a day where necessary.
“These longer hours will enable the trucking industry to deliver more loads to our supermarkets. We can’t do it within the existing delivery hours, because supermarkets can only take one or two trucks at a time and have limited space to store deliveries. Every state should take up the Queensland model, and do it fast.”
Gary Mahon, Queensland Trucking Association CEO had been urging the Queensland Government to make this move and was gratified with the government’s action.
“If first responders are the skilled people who provide support services during prevention, response and recovery then our truck drivers and people who make the supply chain function are on this front line,” said Gary. “In the broader community we do not acknowledge enough the tremendous effort and dependability that our front line brings. Much more respect ought be shown by government and authorities for the vital and integral link road freight brings to the quality of life in our country. We particularly commend the drivers who are out there in all conditions every hour of the day.
“Curfews, exceptional access arrangements (multiple trailers) and relief for exceptional business circumstances for sections of the industry, such as a payroll tax waiver are just some examples that need to be front and centre of priority government actions.”
The Australian Logistics Council has also congratulated the Queensland Government for its move to permit 24 hour deliveries to retail premises for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis and called on other state and territory governments to immediately follow suit.
“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 Kirk Coningham, ALC CEO.
“As ALC has emphasised in discussions with both the Minster for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews and the Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, Mark Coulton, 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.”
“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.”
The supermarket curfews have been lifted across Australia with the NSW, South Australian and Victorian governments also removing local government supermarket curfews, which will help the trucking industry and supermarkets restock.
“Our members told us that local government curfews were the single greatest regulatory impediment to restocking Australia’s supermarkets,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said. “The new laws will enable supermarket loading docks to operate 24 hours a day where necessary.
“I want to congratulate the Victorian Transport Association and its CEO, Peter Anderson, on advocating for these reforms in Victoria. In NSW, the ATA worked closely with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Logistics Council and our state association, Road Freight NSW, to emphasise the importance of the reforms.”