Aussies lose out
As Australian supermarkets are stripped bare and frontline health workers struggle with a lack of vital equipment, pallet-loads of groceries and medical supplies are being shipped overseas.
When A Current Affair visited one Melbourne export warehouse today, a worker said products – including medications, long-life milk, baby formula and bathroom supplies – were destined for places like Hong Kong, Thailand and China.
It comes after reports that earlier this year, two Chinese property companies based in Australia sent tonnes of medical equipment to Wuhan, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The shipments included millions of items like surgical masks, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitiser, gloves and protective suits – some of which were flown by private jet.
Former Victorian Senator Derryn Hinch said the operations to send medical supplies overseas were "disgraceful".
"It could cost lives in this country," Mr Hinch told A Current Affair.
In a media conference last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government was putting in arrangements to make it an offence to engage in "profiteering" by exporting vital supplies overseas.
The prime minister's office was contacted for comment, but did not get back to A Current Affair before the program went to air.
In our story broadcast on March 30, the logo of a business — unrelated to our report — was briefly shown in the background. Ceramic Tile Imports is in no way associated with the subject matter of our story and Nine unreservedly apologises for any confusion.