Vic COVID slow down to hit food supply -sharenews
Australia could face some food shortages due to Victoria's stage four coronavirus restrictions.
Large swathes of manufacturing will have to close under the lockdown measures taking effect from Thursday and other plants will have to scale back production.
Food production, including meat, seafood, dairy, fruit and vegetable processing businesses can remain open under the harsher measures.
But centres will have to work at one third the usual capacity across the state, not just in metropolitan Melbourne like most of the other restrictions.
Meatworks have been a source of major coronavirus outbreaks during Victoria's second wave.
"It is a proportionate response to the risk that that industry poses," Premier Daniel Andrews said on Monday.
Mr Andrews acknowledged the sector was critical in "in keeping Victorians fed and indeed, the nation fed" and it was hoped production will still be able to give people access to products.
"I can't guarantee that every single product at exactly the volumes that you might like to buy will be there, but there will be enough for people to get what they need, not necessarily what they want, but what they need," he said.
The major supermarkets have already limited the number of meat products customers can buy at any one time.
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra told Seven Network on Tuesday the state had little choice but to act.
"We have to control the spread. Whilst every business owner is waking up this morning wondering what it means for them, nobody is happy about this, but ultimately we understand this needs to be done," he said.
Mr Guerra said there would be supply in the food chain to last a few weeks, adding people did not need to panic buy.
Other manufacturing sectors will have to close entirely because of the restrictions, including fabricated metal products, furniture, wood product, textiles and leather tanning.
© AAP 2020
Image: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com