Businesses including Woolworths have been praised for helping the COVID response by delivering more than 60,000 free face masks to the Torres Strait and 12,000 to Palm Island and Doomadgee.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles thanked Woolies, Community Enterprise Queensland and Hinterland Aviation for their heart-warming efforts.
“When it became clear that some of our most remote and at-risk communities were struggling to source enough masks, we put the call out to business to help,” Mr Miles said.
“An industry solution was brokered last yesterday to supply 60,000 masks – at no cost – to community to the Torres Straits and Northern Peninsular Area.
“This is through collaboration between Woolworths, who will supply the masks from their staff supply, and Community Enterprise Queensland – who operate stores across the region.
“I want to say a big Queensland thank you to all involved. Masks are important and Woolies didn’t hesitate to lend a helping hand.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said similar support was given to Palm Island.
“Nine thousand of 12,000 masks secured will arrive on Palm Island this morning with Hinterland Aviation waiving freight costs,” Mr Stewart said.
“The remaining three thousand masks have been set aside for Doomadgee.”
“When I became aware the Palm Island community was struggling to source enough masks, as the local member I was more than happy to try and find a resolution to this issue.
“It would be devastating if COVID-19 got into that community as there are many vulnerable people living on the island.
“That’s why it was important to get a quick resolution to the problem.
“Helping others in need is a Queensland thing to do. I’m very thankful to everyone involved.”
Woolworths Group, Head of COVID-19 Response, Ross Spencer said they were happy to help.
“When the call came in from the Queensland Government, our team didn’t hesitate to put their hand up to help.
“We’ve built up a good supply of face masks for our team and customers, so we were really well placed to support these remote communities with critical supplies at short notice.
“We’re grateful to the other businesses who have helped make this a reality and trust the donation will play an important role as part of the broader public health efforts on the islands.”
The 60,000 masks will be in Cairns this afternoon ready to be flown to Horn Island tomorrow morning. The distribution across the region will take place over the coming days.