Supermarkets in NSW will be able to receive deliveries 24 hours a day under new regulations introduced to stop panic buying amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The NSW government has overridden local council rules which restrict some stores from restocking shelves and operating loading docks outside regular business hours, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Friday.
“We need to make sure these products can move from factories to shelves as quickly as possible,” Ms Berejiklian said in a statement.
“We are moving quickly so truck drivers can make deliveries to supermarkets around the clock.
“It is important that people now stop unnecessary panic buying.”
The regulations apply immediately and will remain until the crisis is over.
Ms Berejiklian on Thursday said there was “absolutely no need to panic buy or hoard”.
“We are ensuring there’s a solid supply chain and we also want to make sure those most vulnerable who can’t go to the shops every day because they’re immobile, or they’re older or vulnerable, do have that support as well,” she said.
NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the new regulations make clear deliverers can supply stores and retailers with essential goods at all times.
“Councils and retailers have been working well together to allow greater flexibility in delivery hours and this change gives everyone the certainty we need to ensure these deliveries can continue,” Mr Stokes said in a statement.
Property development industry group The Urban Taskforce on Friday welcomed the new regulations.
“In an era of delayed government responses to crises, this swift action is very welcome”, chief executive Tom Forrest said in a statement.
Almost all councils across Australia have agreed to relax truck curfews to allow more deliveries to supermarkets.
Coles has taken out full-page newspaper advertisements announcing limits on toilet paper, pasta, flour, eggs, some meat, hand sanitiser and soaps amid bulk buying.
Woolworths is also limiting purchases of similar products, as well as chilled fresh milk.
Coles chief operating officer Matt Swindells said shops were geared up to put items on the shelf as quickly as possible, with more than 5000 extra casuals employed.