As Australians continue to reel from the sight of empty supermarket shelves the community is looking for someone to blame.  Local government curfews regulating when supermarkets can have goods delivered have come in for criticism.

“This criticism of local governments is not justified” said the President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Mayor David O’Loughlin.  “When approached by Coles and Woolworths for temporary exemptions to curfews overwhelmingly most Councils have readily agreed.  Some like the Knox City Council in Victoria have even allocated a supermarket liaison officer to support food and product supply”.

ALGA and the state and territory local government associations have been working with Coles and Woolies and individual councils to resolve any issues with the temporary lifting of the curfews.  “The supermarkets are experiencing unprecedented pressure on their supply chains and can not get stock out of the warehouses and onto the shelves fast enough.  Its like the Christmas shopping peak times four.  But Councils are not a roadblock to the supply chain and getting groceries onto the shelves”

“As hard as Councils are working on this, the only lawful way a blanket exemption can be provided is through urgent State legislation. This has already been passed in South Australia and Queensland and has been welcomed by Councils and the Local Government Association in those states. Other States are expected to follow their lead.”

“All Australians need to do their bit to help us weather the challenge of Coronavirus.  Councils are doing their bit.  Individuals must help too. They can do this by not stockpiling more food and toilet paper than they need.  This will assist supermarkets to get back to normal and reduce the need for deliveries out of hours”

“It is important to note that the lifting of the curfews is only a temporary measure and not intended to compromise the long term amenity of surrounding residents and address potential road congestions issues” Mayor David O’Loughlin.

Media release: AAP Media net

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