Labor must lift workforce limits or risk stealing Christmas

The Andrews Labor Government must work with industry to resolve fears the food supply chain will crumble unless workforce restrictions are lifted before the busy Christmas period.

Industry has called for the requirement on meat processors and food distribution centres to be safely increased from 67 per cent to make sure there’s enough workers to keep up with peak demand through spring and in the lead up to Christmas.

Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said the food supply chain was severely hampered by workforce restrictions.

“We know our farmers are producing enough food to feed our state, but current restrictions limiting distribution centres and food processors to two-thirds of their normal workforce risks there not being enough hands on deck to get it onto supermarket shelves,” Mr Walsh said.

“As active cases fall and restrictions are eased, safe increases to workforce numbers in food distribution centres and processing facilities – particularly in regional Victoria where case numbers are low – must be a priority.

“Consumers deserve to have confidence supermarket shelves will continue to be fully stocked at Christmas, but this will only get harder if Daniel Andrews fails to work with industry to help them implement COVID Safe plans and practices.

“Victorians’ hopes of enjoying a Christmas ham will be up in smoke if Daniel Andrews refuses to listen to industry to resolve pressures on the food supply chain.”

Peter Walsh MP

Shadow Minister for Agriculture

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