Premier Anna Bligh today thanked the Australian National Retailers’ Association and the Australian Defence Force for moving quickly to restock Cairns with essential supplies.

One C-17 Globemaster and two C-130 Hercules aircraft will fly from Amberley Airbase to Cairns today with further flights tomorrow carting essential items such as bottled water, baby formula, disposable nappies and tinned food.

Because of road blockages, barges are on their way to Cairns with more substantial supplies and will begin arriving by Tuesday.

“My thanks to the Australian National Retailers Association and the ADF for working with Emergency Management Queensland to top up essential supplies for Cairns and the surrounding region until the barges arrive.

“Quick action by all involved means that supplies are on their way and that should ease any concerns in Cairns,” Ms Bligh said.

The major retailers Woolworths, Coles and IGA have worked around the clock to ensure the supply of essential groceries into Cairns and Far North Queensland.

ANRA CEO Margy Osmond said that with the support of the ADF retailers would be moving about 90 tonnes into Cairns over today and tomorrow.

“This will help bolster existing stock in that city and into the region. Many stores have generator power and this has made it possible to open and support local communities.

“This airborne delivery is a vital stop gap while we await the arrival of the barges which will carry substantial restocking capacity for the region.

“We would ask people to be patient if there are gaps in the fresh and perishable food shelves.

“The efforts of the Queensland Government to support the retailers and local communities have been really impressive and the help of the ADF has been, and is, critical and very welcome,” Mrs Osmond said.

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