Northern cattle producers want the Prime Minister to intervene and order the major supermarket chains to solve the supply chain issues affecting cattle stations in the Northern Territory even if that means involving the Australian Defence Force.
The Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association chief executive officer Ashley Manicaros said the service of Coles and Woolworths in meeting bush orders through click & collect had failed 12 days ago and despite pressure through national bodies including he National Farmers Federation had failed to be resolved.
"The Prime Minister has got to intervene here and bang some heads together at the major supermarkets," Mr Manicaros said. "The people in the bush don't have the option of whipping down to the corner store to secure a few odds and ends, they rely on these larger companies to make stock available to them.
"Someone in a capital city has shut off this service without a clue as to the impacts and here we are seeing the consequences of it despite claims the matter is being addressed. The NTCA has supplied a list of all cattle stations in the NT and the regions from which they are normally serviced including those from border locations who may be receiving stores from nearby regional townships like Mt Isa.
"If the supermarkets are not capable of delivering for the bush then the Prime Minister should engage the ADF to do the job. This is primarily driven by a failure of logistics mixed with the ridiculous panic buying happening in the major cities.
"This has got to be addressed. We are not talking about this affecting one or two people but we are talking properties with up to fifty people on them."