Ensuring adequate food supplies reach Queensland’s flood-affected communities are a top priority, Federal Ministers have said.
Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries, Rural and Regional Queensland, Tim Mulherin, hosted a teleconference with food manufacturers and processors last Friday, to discuss food supply issues across the state as a result of the recent floods.
"Bringing production facilities online is a significant task and I wanted to hear firsthand what damage has been sustained directly from the floods and what implications it has for food processing," Minister Mulherin said.
"All Queenslanders need to be reassured about the short and long term supply of essential food stuffs including meat and poultry, eggs, bread and milk.
"There is no need for panic buying, we want to assure people that industry and government are working together to get capacity up as soon as possible to ensure adequate supply of staple foods.
"It is Government’s top priority to have coordinated grass roots recovery across the supply chain and this meeting was an opportunity to focus all levels of government on the task at hand."
Mr Mulherin and Federal Minister for Agriculture, Joe Ludwig, visited Foodbank and a temporary Coles distribution centre on Friday, to inspect the distribution of essential foods to the people in flood affected communities.
"The major challenge at the moment is getting food into flood-affected areas and further into Far North Queensland," Minister Ludwig said.
"While road closures across the state continue to create challenges for food suppliers and distributors, alternate routes and all modes of transport from air, rail, land and sea, are being utilised.
"The Commonwealth Government, through my Department, is in regular contact with key food producers, suppliers and distributors to monitor the situation."
Coles, Woolworths and Metcash are working closely with the state and federal governments on contingency measures to maintain supply of essential provisions to communities across Queensland.
"Major retailers are shipping pallets of food from Sydney to Townsville for the flood affected communities in regional Queensland," Minister Ludwig said.
The Australian Defence Force has also been assisting in providing food and urgent supplies such as medicine to isolated communities. The ADF has so far delivered 55,524 kg of food and supplies to flood affected areas within Queensland.