By Steph McNicol
Shoppers are now required to present identification before entering selected supermarkets, as store managers try to ensure residents are able to buy essential items.
Most supermarkets now have item limits to prevent shoppers from stocking up on essentials like toilet paper, tissues, hand sanitiser, baby formula and nappies.
The limit also applies to pasta, rice, milk, bread and other essential items.
The initiative to check shoppers’ identification is in place at several stores, including Broadford IGA and Riddells Creek Foodworks, after complaints by shoppers that ‘busloads of Melbourne tourists’ had been clearing out regional supermarkets.
Radio station 3AW reported the concerns of residents who witnessed the ‘city vultures’ arrive by the bus load to clear out the shelves – one woman from Kilmore said it was happening ‘all around here’.
A Seymour resident told the Review she had witnessed several buses in the town last week and she suspected they were dropping Melbourne tourists off so they could do their shopping.
“They’re doing the rounds, and its really crazy how much stuff they’re taking off the shelves. It’s not fair to the people of Seymour, we all live week-to-week here, and some people can’t even buy nappies for their babies,” she said.
To manage the number out-of-town shoppers, some store-owners are checking shoppers’ identification before they enter the store.
Woolworths and Coles also implemented an hour of shopping each morning between 7am and 8am where elderly residents and people with a disability were able to do their basic shopping without the rush of people.