Ballina residents will be able to access a list of local businesses for shopping for products or services over the phone.
Ballina residents will be able to access a list of local businesses for shopping for products or services over the phone.

Local council starts free grocery shopping service

BALLINA Shire Council will soon start a grocery delivery service to help those who are in self isolation, the elderly and the general community.

The service will see businesses across the shire signing up to the service by contacting the council.

A list of services will be published regularly with phone contact details.

Customers will be able to call and order groceries and other products from other types of shops such as pharmacies.

The customer will then call to request a delivery service via taxi or similar.

The service will be free for businesses and residents to use.

Cr Sharon Cadwallader said businesses can opt in by contacting council.

"I see this program working with the local chambers of commerce and small businesses, so that council can be the contact point, with a dedicated line and a dedicated person," she said.

"(Businesses) will be able to opt in when they have good or service they would like to provide to the community.

"The benefit of that is that the most vulnerable in our community don't have to go out to shops but businesses are still trading."

Ms Cadwallader said once residents read the information of the businesses available, they will be able to contact council or the providers directly.

"People will be able to call council and say 'this is the service I'm looking for, who do you have on your list?' and council will give them the information about the businesses registered, but it will not recommend any products or services," she said.

"Individuals themselves will decide what service they will use to have the products delivered. It might be that the business does its own delivery, or they can use a taxi provider or a different service."

Ms Cadwallader said this is the first part of the council's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is one way council can show leadership as a trusted source," she said.

"We can learn from this and can be used in the future as a plan."