Road clo­sures hit shelves

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FLOOD CRISIS: SPECIAL REPORT - SAM SMALL­BONE

BARGES, trains and road trains are work­ing hard with lo­cal su­per­mar­kets to en­sure the Dou­glas re­gion doesn’t go hun­gry.

But those who love their caviar may have to re­sort to a can of baked beans in com­ing weeks as the roads from Bris­bane to Townsville are closed.

Road and rail clo­sures be­tween Bris­bane and Townsville are se­verely af­fect­ing the trans­porta­tion of meats and pro­duce to food giants Wool­worths, Coles and IGA across the state.

Flooded ar­eas in Rock­hamp­ton im­me­di­ately pre­vented food be­ing trans­ported by rail from Bris­bane to Cairns, and shelves in lo­cal stores be­gan to fall empty.

Port Dou­glas Coles man­ager Ja­son Smith said they have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a lot of prob­lems stock­ing shelves, but are com­mit­ted to find­ing so­lu­tions.

“A few weeks ago when trans­porters could not get to Townsville, we used a barge into Cairns, last week we were forced to fly 400 pal­lets of stock up from Bris­bane as we were low on meat and bread,” he said.

“We have had to or­gan­ise road trains and trucks to trans­port 5000 pal­lets of pro­duce and di­rect them west around Emer­ald and other flooded ar­eas. This is tak­ing a lot longer as it roughly a 27-hour drive.

“At least we were able to mod­ify the routes.”

There are still a num­ber of prod­ucts that are un­able to be trans­ported such as bread, crum­pets and muffins as the drive is just too long and hot.

“Coles are com­mit­ted to get­ting the stock here, we have to travel a lit­tle bit fur­ther but we are get­ting the sup­ply back on track and keep­ing the shops full and pre­par­ing for any fu­ture prob­lems,” he said.

Wool­worths in Moss­man has also been af­fected by the Queens­land floods and had to or­gan­ise trucks to de­liver prod­ucts to fill the shelves.

Moss­man Wool­worths spokes­woman Clare Buchanan said they were still catch­ing up.

“We are mon­i­tor­ing the rain­fall and flood­ing around the clock to en­sure that they can get to stores on the fastest avail­able route,” she said.

“Food is a pri­or­ity and we want to make sure peo­ple have ac­cess to ev­ery­thing they need.”

Port Dou­glas IGA man­ager Paul Scott said the only thing we can do is go to church and pray.

“At this stage we have enough stock and we are cur­rently book­ing a barge to trans­port food from Bris­bane to Townsville which will then travel by truck to Cairns,” he said.

“The store may be­gin to look patchy but at least the lo­cals will have food.

“We are able to source a lot of our foods from lo­cal pro­duc­ers but there will be less va­ri­ety on the shelves.

“Trans­port­ing food will be­come a prob­lem if Townsville is flooded.”

Stock­ing the aisles: Coles Port Dou­glas staff Bren­dan Cullen, Leanne Brown, Ja­son Smith Brooke But­ler and Dale Smith

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.