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Coronavirus: Australian newspaper prints extra pages to help out in toilet paper shortage - The Guardian

NT News, known for its humorous front pages, produces a special edition amid panic over loo roll shortage

The NT News front page
The cover of Australian newspaper the NT News, which printed extra pages in its Thursday edition to help out amid a toilet paper shortage

It’s the panic that keeps on giving.

#ToiletPaperEmergency or the great #ToiletPaperApocalypse, as it has been dubbed on Twitter, has already rolled out hundreds of memes, witty asides as well as documented the madness of people stockpiling the toilet essential.

In the real world it has led to Australian toilet paper manufacturers ramping up production to keep up with demand from people fearful of coronavirus.

One newspaper has gone one step further by printing extra pages in its editions to help out those who have been … caught short.

On Thursday the NT News, the Darwin-based newspaper with a national reputation for its headlines and antics, printed a special eight-page insert that can be cut into toilet paper.

The NT News (@TheNTNews)

YES, WE ACTUALLY DID PRINT IT #toiletpapercrisis

March 4, 2020

Its editor, Matt Williams, told Guardian Australia the paper was selling well and was “certainly not a crappy edition”.

“We are a newspaper known around the world who understands the needs of our readers,” he said. “Territorians … are in great need of toilet paper right now so we had to deliver what they needed.”

The stunt comes after supermarkets including Coles and Woolworths have been besieged by shoppers clearing their shelves of loo paper and hand sanitiser.

Even at Millicent in South Australia, the town that mills most of Australia’s toilet paper supplies, local shops have had to order in extra stock, the ABC has reported.

The Kimberley-Clark mill has increased its production to 24 hours a day in response to supermarket shortages, in an attempt to get supply back on to shelves.

The ethical subscription toilet paper service Who Gives a Crap said it had sold out of all products.

And he managing director of Australian Bidet, Randall Cadby, said the business had been inundated with calls, emails and website traffic.

Attempts to stockpile toilet paper began this week amid panic buying of long-life food other staples.

It remains unclear why people have begun hoarding vast quantities of the product, given that there has been no indication stocks might run low and there is not likely to be increased an need for toilet paper in the event the coronavirus spreads to a significant extent.

Andy Lee (@andy_lee)

I didn't realise Caronavirus made you shit that much!#toiletpapergate

March 4, 2020

The Twitter hashtag #ToiletPaperEmergency – featuring images of people attempting to stockpile massive quantities of paper, empty supermarket shelves and those trying to profit from reselling rolls – has become the top trend in Australia.

Dan Packer (@Dcpacker)


When you actually need toilet paper, but the masses are stupid.

March 5, 2020

On Thursday Australia’s largest supermarket announced it would implement a four-pack limit for customers.

Woolworths (@woolworths)

We’ve implemented a 4 packet limit on toilet paper to ensure more customers can access stock. The vast majority of products in our range remain available & we're working hard with our suppliers to ramp up production & deliveries to restock shelves ASAP.

March 3, 2020

On Thursday morning a truck carrying supplies of toilet paper caught fire on the Gateway Bridge, near Brisbane. About half the rolls were saved.

“This is not overly common, particularly around the city areas, but the main thing is no one got hurt tonight and we’ve been able to save quite a lot of toilet paper,” a fire officer, Justin Francis, told the ABC.

Shelley Lloyd (@shelleymlloyd)

A truck carrying a precious load of toilet paper has burst into flames on Brisbane’s Gateway Bridge overnight. @abcbrisbane @abcnews

March 4, 2020

“There was quite an interesting fuel load on this particular vehicle as we believe toilet paper is quite precious at the moment, so we’ve been able to save half the load on this particular truck,” he said.

The Feed SBS (@TheFeedSBS)

Behold, the moment a truck carrying toilet paper burst into flames on Brisbane's Gateway Bridge last night #ToiletPaperEmergency

March 5, 2020

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