Thursday, 7 February 2019: As flood recovery efforts in Townsville continue, Woolworths has pledged to invest $20 million into its local store network and distribution centre over the next 18 months.
The immediate priority is working towards the reopening of Woolworths Fairfield for local shoppers and team members as quickly as possible following significant flood damage at the store over the past week.
Woolworths will also invest in its cold storage facilities at its Townsville Distribution Centre to hold more fresh food in readiness for future extreme weather events in the region.
Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci announced the investment plan in Townsville alongside Queensland Minister for Communities Coralee O’Rourke and emergency relief partners The Salvation Army.
Mr Banducci said: “We know it’s been a deeply distressing time for many in Townsville, and our hearts go out to all those affected by the floods in the community.
“We’re extremely grateful to our customers for their patience and understanding over the past week. Our teams have worked round the clock to replenish our stores with fresh food and essentials in challenging circumstances, and I thank them for their resilience and dedication to serving the community.
“We have a long and proud history in Townsville, and this announcement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to invest in the city for the benefit of our customers and team members.
“Importantly, this investment will not only deliver a better local store network - it’ll also help build greater resilience into our supply chain for extreme weather events in the future.”
The announcement comes as The Salvation Army launches an Emergency Appeal in partnership with Woolworths. This Appeal will provide The Salvation Army with the resources to deliver practical support in the wake of the natural disaster.
Woolworths has donated $250,000 to the Appeal. Customers can donate at any Woolworths Supermarket across Australia and donations over $2 are tax-deductible.
Since 2016, Woolworths has run a year-round program with The Salvation Army called S.T.A.N.D to provide Support Through Australian Natural Disasters.
In the last 24 hours, Woolworths has transported more than 550 tonnes of fresh produce, meat and groceries into Townsville via the recently reopened roads and more trucks are en route from Brisbane today.