Should Bunnings Stores Be Shut during Lockdown?

There seem to be a lot of frustration in NSW as daily cases remain high after weeks in lockdown.

Would a shut down of Bunnings stores help? Or are we just looking for someone to blame/punish?
If Senator Lambie can offer her wisdom, I'd rather those from the OZB community.

Poll Options

  • 944
    Yes, but open for tradies and C&C only.
  • 161
    No, keep them open to general public.

Related Stores

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    • Actually 100 years ago they absolutely went into lockdown. Schools closed, public transport was shutdown as were many businesses and whole towns and cities. They also had 15,000 deaths in the first year in Australia when our population was only about 5 million.

  • Is there going to be any scientific thoughts/studies or people are just going to guess about the risk of contracting covid?

    Anyway I would just shut down all of Bunnings, even the internet sales, mainly just to piss people off.
    Did I answer the question?

    Currently if you don't wear a mask in a train there is a 0.3% chance of catching COVID.
    If you are outside the risk factor is 0.22% apparently.

    Personally I doubt many people are catching it from shopping. But more from places like Schools, work, etc.

    • +1

      That's what all the modelling studies are, scientific studies looking at what what would happen in different scenarios.

      The issue is never the current risk of catching it, but the future risk of catching it when it's running rampant.

      • -1

        The risk was measured in Sweden while it was "running rampant."

        The risk of transmission outside does not increase just because more people have it.

        • +1

          I mean, the absolute risk absolutely increases because more people have it. If everyone but you has covid, the chances of you getting it are immensely greater than if one other random person in the country has covid. The risk may vary by setting based on the density of people, ventilation, time spent, etc, but more people infected 100% means greater risk.

          • -2

            @EBC: Ummmm, no.

            If there is 0% risk of me contracting outside because of ventilation, and the fact that the virus tends to die very quickly upon air exposure, means there is 0% of me contracting it whether 100 people have it or a 1,000,000 have it, as long as I don't do dumb things like kiss strangers mouth.

            The risk of contracting it is at your home (50% chance if a family member contracts it vs 0.22% outside), hospitals, your friends home,etc.
            Thats where you contract it.

            Stop with mis-information.

            • +1

              @IHatePeople: "There's a 0% risk", but also "0.22% outside".

              Uh huh, I'm the one misinforming here.

              If the risk is, as you just said, NOT 0% outside, then the more people with the virus, the more the chance you will get it. I've already said that setting will change things, but if you are in a 100 square metre park with 1000 people with covid, you are immensely more likely to get covid than in you were in the same park with 1 covid positive person.

              Not sure how this is controversial or anything close to misinformation.

              • @EBC: Please tell me how many people have caught COVID during a protest?



                As 1% of the protestors have it, it may be better to join a protest than to stay indoors (3.7%), even though there is more people in a protest than your average McDonalds.

                Perhaps its more fun to think about asteroids. If the Universe has a 1,000% increase of asteroids the chance of me dying could be higher but in reality I am more likely to die of anything else (heart attacks, sex with a horse) even if there is a massive increase of asteroids.
                Yes the probability increases, but in a practical way it doesn't.

                As such, today we have learned - Don't have sex with horses.

                • +1

                  @IHatePeople: 1 in roughly 400 isn't anywhere near the astronomically small chance of an asteroid though. Multiply that by 1000% and you approach a near certainty.

                  Besides, what are the context of your numbers? These percentages are meaningless without context. Is it 0.22% of exposures will result in transmission? Because that would make the 1 in 400 a huge problem. Is it total proportion of cases in Sweden that came from confirmed outdoor transmission? Because that is going to be biased way lower because it is nearly impossible to contact trace brief contact while outside. There are probably large numbers of cases where a link was never found. Unless people are just big liars, it's likely those occurred somewhere it's difficult/impossible to contact trace.

                  Either way, I agree with you that the risk is almost certainly higher inside, but I think you are underestimating the importance of what seems like a small proportion (0.22%) across a whole population.

                  Also delta is certainly changing things:



                  • @EBC: Why do you pretend that its dangerous outside when there is almost zero chance of catching COVID outside and basically all covid cases have been spread indoors?

                    Yeah, yeah Delta the new bogeyman which also has a 0% chance of being caught outdoors.
                    " transmission could have occurred if people drove others to the beach"
                    So your friend has it and you catch it off your friend.
                    Zero to do with outside and 100% to do with being an enclosed space with someone with COVID.
                    There people didn't catch it off random strangers that they just saw outside.

                    "But DHS could not say definitively that they caught the virus while viewing the game downtown or elsewhere."
                    Were they even outside? Did they share vehicles?
                    Were they sharing drinks, food?
                    Did they go into bars, clubs, friends houses, etc?

                    If there is 0.22% chance of catching outside and 33% chance of catching inside because a friend has it - what is more likely and what is so high unlikely thats its not even a 1% chance?

                    I'll go out on a limb here - there is probably little point in wearing a mask outside.
                    (even though I do it - but not to prevent covid, but because of social pressure).
                    You know what would be more useful? Telling people not to socialise, and letting people outside.
                    Throw in some temperature checks, which is massively MORE useful than QR codes in supermarkets and you might just avoid lockdown - like in Taiwan.

                    • @IHatePeople: Alright so you are back to pretending non-zero numbers are zero.

                      You are arguing a points I was never arguing against. Yes you are more likely to get it inside. Yes outdoor transmission happens less often. But also, increased prevalence of an infectious disease results in higher incidence. I don't see how that, the only point I was making, is controversial.

                      Stay safe and healthy, mate.

            • +2


              the fact that the virus tends to die very quickly upon air exposure,

              Uhh it can last for more than an hour in the air… And longer on surfaces.

              • +1

                @Ughhh: Yes, in a perfect world it can also last 8 hours on a surface.

                As such nobody should touch anything for at least 8 hours.

                Of course there is a 33%-50% chance of getting while living with a relative who has it.

                People are getting it off other people who are cough droplets all over each other (like Schools, or nursing homes), not from trains.

                Trains are surfaces too. Don't be Anti Trans-port.

  • +3

    So why didn't they shut all this down when people were dying from the flu? Those lives didn't matter, did they?

    • +4

      In NSW aged residential care (nursing homes) made it mandatory for visitors to get fluvax.

      In this way those lives mattered.

      Also, of course, covid is more infectious and more deadly than the flu. (I invite you to search google about that looking for sources that diverge from your current view and narrative),

    • +5

      Why is it so difficult to understand. Your 3 times more likely to die from COVID than you are from the flu. Delta is also much more contagious than the flu. More people who contract COVID are going to need hospitalisation than those who have flu and are more likely to need a assistance when their breathing.

      There are between 290,000 and 650,000 people that die from flu each year. COVID is thought to be 10 times higher.

      • +1

        No, I understand that, but why is it okay to have those people die because it's not "as bad", that's what I am talking about. One death is still one death. 650,000 is no slouch. I'm just curious because something is X3 more, that we lose it, but 650,000, nah it's okay to live a life.

        How about heart disease? It kills 12 million? Where's the billions and billions in education and research?

        I just find the discrimination between diseases interesting here since you can't put a number to the damage lockdown has done to people concerning suicide, unemployment and domestic violence. Also, the increased heart disease risk people locked up at home.

        I find it all fascinating. That the governments of the world have found billions and billions to put into this singular situation. Not cancer. Not heart disease. Nothing else in the world has ever had this much resources thrown at it, but this.

        • -1

          Do you understand the meaning of contagion? Do you understand what is a pandemic?

          Cancer is still being researched, it's not stopped. If you let a pandemic go out of control you'll have less people able to research said cancer.

          Where are you getting these points? Facebook?

          • @raptormesh: Just my thought process.

            Yes, I agree, you probably couldn't let this pandemic go out of control, looks like it might, since the vaccines haven't been tested properly looking at Israel's stats now. Possible ADE?

            Still find it surprising the level of funding and the different behaviours compared to other pandemics and Influenza. But the stats do suggest COVID-19 is worse.

  • +5

    Two words… "Entry Fee". I'm sure if there's a $50 entry fee, people will start questioning how essential something is.

    • +2

      Excellent idea, as long as the majority of that fee income is provided to the staff forced to work (at registers, or cleaning, etc.), with the remaining fee income able to be spent on the additional cleaning expenses the place incurs.

      • +2

        Bunnings should look to Harvey Norman for best practice on how to pay your employees.

      • you certainly haven't connected the cost of cleaning to the $50, So why not make everything $1,000?

        Hospitals need more cleaning so they should be the first to charge the new fee.
        And so do retirement villages. $1,000 per relative.

        Glad you agree.

  • I think they should increase the area needed in the city and any area above median housing prices to 1 person per 32m2.

  • +2

    thing about Bunnings is sometimes you don't know what you want. For example I had a fitting break and I needed a new one, I didn't know what it was called or even if it could be replaced by a 'Joe All Thumbs' like me. I took it to Bunnings and found out all about the fitting - can't really do that via Click and Collect.

    • I suppose the question is "Was it essential?"

      • +1

        Honestly, if I knew I was only going to wait a few days then I would have waited. But it needed replacing and couldn't wait forever.

      • very, very few things are actually essential.

        Hospital visitations and petrol station stops are about it.

        Hence everything else should be closed.

    • Is replacing a fitting legal if you aren't a plumber?

  • +2

    I had my work uniform on (hi-vis) and was still stopped and asked to show my White Card. Looks like some stores are taking it seriously which is great.

    • Interesting they asked for white card. Normally it's powerpass but I guess they've realised a lot of people have them from friends and family just for the discount.

      • +1

        U can get a discount at Bunnings if u have a white card say what 😮

        • No, you get 5% off most things if you a have a "Powerpass card" which is Bunnings trade card.

          • @stirlo: 0.5 cents on each item, ahh that's not much at all, maybe plumbing pipes or something in volume, we talking 1000 items for holding a bank card oh boy.

            • +1

              @Mewmew: Not sure how you did your maths but it's 5% off (pay $95 for $100 worth of stuff) not 0.5 cents off (unless what you're buying costs 10c).

              Which is a reasonable discount when the prices are already reasonably low.

              • -1

                @stirlo: 5% is 0.5, or 100 X 0.05 $5, so you still must purchase a certain amount to be entitled on the discount, so that's the catch.

                • +1

                  @Mewmew: Sorry mate maths might not be your strong suit.

                  It's 5% off with no minimum spend. You can buy a $1 bolt and save 5 cents or a $1000 BBQ and save $50. If you spend $30 you save $1.50.

                  The maths is simply Price on shelf X 0.95 = Price after discount.

                  At the end of it all no matter what you buy you'll have extra money in your pocket. If you spend a lot it will be a lot of money if you spend a little it will be a little bit of money. But it's still money every time.

                  • -2

                    @stirlo: 0.05 *1.00 is 5c 0.05 * 100 is $5, as said stil not great deal.

                    • +1

                      @Mewmew: Yeah but Bunnings isn't like Reece or other trade outlets where the walk in price is double the trade price. You're getting 5% off what are already the lowest advertised prices in most cases.

                      You can turn up your nose at a 5% discount if you like but plenty of people buy discounted supermarket gift cards at 3% off or chase a way to avoid 1% transaction fees on credit cards. In aggregate 5% off has saved me hundreds on my spend at Bunnings.

                      • @stirlo: 0.03 at 100 is worse, 😭 what the hell man, I pay in cash.

  • +1

    Bunnings should allow only trade or business collaborations in, who are also double vaccined, or close Bunnings for compliance issues.

  • Queenslanders can still walk their dog inside Bunnings

  • +4

    If there has been no or minimal transmission linked to a Bunnings then I don't see why they shouldn't stay open. Most transmission happens at the workplace or at home, not from random shoppers passing by each other in a big warehouse.

  • How about the Reject Shop .
    I was shocked to see it open last Vic lockdown lol .

    • +2

      There has been plenty of discussion about the merits of the Reject Shop being 'essential'. It is for a lot of people, as it sells food / pantry items at low cost.

      • To be quite frank I'm spell bound that many retailers have not put a milk fridge in the front of there stores and another couple items to pass the threshold , whatever it may be .

  • +2

    saw a (?NSW) Chief Medical Officer doctor type on TV last night saying all stores should be closed

    when asked about Bunnings, she said 'Bunnings ? should stay open - if you have a roof leak that's urgent to fix, you need …'

    Delta just looves Bunnings …

    one idea I saw to encourage vaccinations was have stations at Bunnings - jab and sausage

    would you like Delta before or after that … ?

    • I propose Astra Zeneca jab in exchange for one free sausage in bread every weekend for a year.

  • +2

    I think that it is all about keeping the masses happy during lockdown. If you are stuck at home with nothing to do, then you will get restless.
    Give them access to Bunnings to do some jobs whilst at home, and give them the footy on TV, and people will be more compliant and less restless.
    Bunnings has been exemplary in taking Covid seriously since it first arrived.
    Everything carries a level of risk, even exercising outside.

  • I Think the question should be "should westfarmers (ASX) shops be open" …

  • +1

    Oz has no idea. Recently moved from UK… nearly 6m cases since start of pandemic, 130k deaths… still over 30k cases PER DAY, and that's with 74% of the population fully vaccinated. Obviously greater population density there vs Oz, but still, it's something to think about.

    Lockdowns are undoubtedly a necessary evil, but a zero tolerance policy is not a sustainable one. People eventually need to get used to COVID being with us and people dying from it, because it's not going anywhere. There is no cure and more variants will appear. The fear mongering and damage that continues to be wreaked upon our society, both economically and in respect to the mental well-being of vast swathes of the population, is far more damaging in the long term.

    • +1

      The vast majority of those deaths occurred pre-vaccination.
      The figures I am seeing for the UK for vaccinations just now are: 70.4% at least 1 dose, and 58.1% fully vaccinated. That is a long way ahead of Australia's rates.
      The UK went through a few long, hard, lockdowns, but ramped up their vaccination program to be one of the best in the world.
      Australia, due to being easily able to isolate from the world, took a different approach whilst infection rates were still at controllable levels. If not, we could easily have seen comparable deaths etc., here.

      • +2

        Of course, most deaths were pre-vaccination, but that's not my point. It's the infection rate, and the dialogue and psychology surrounding this in Australia still being very much zero tolerance. Yes this virus has the potential to kill, but the VAST majority who get it will be fine, vaccination or no vaccination (but better with obviously). There is still a lot of fear and there needs to be a shift away from that. One might hope this will come with a significant increase in the vaccination rate, which will of course offer more protection, but even with 100% of the population vaccinated, once Australia opens its borders again, there will quite likely be THOUSANDS of COVID cases per day… and people need to prepare for that. There's no future scenario where COVID just disappears and is a distant memory, not for probably a decade or so anyway.

    • -3

      How has your post not got 100 likes

      True and necessary.

      We cannot afford to stay shut forever

    • +2

      People eventually need to get used to COVID being with us and people dying from it,

      Are you volunteering? Or you just want to get used to other people who you don't know dying from it?

  • +5

    You can always rely on people to do the right thing. That's why we don't have any laws or rules on what people can and can't do. Because everyone just does the right thing, all the time.

  • +1

    Why are they exempt from the lockdown when Mum and pop Hardware stores hace to be closed(so smaells like big brother to me)

  • +2

    my facuet dead last night, tried to replace with spare facuet and found i need 2 adaptors to fit it. It was 2am in the morning, checked the rule, found i m no tradie and I can not visit the bunnings to buy that 2 adaptors. place online order awaiting bunnings to confirm a click n collect time. and you know what. i havnt flushed my toilet since last night just because of that 2 adaptors i can not buy….
    fxxk lock down banning ppl from buying instore from bunnings!!

  • Some things are essential, like buying a new hose because the one under your sink has ruptured, or a pack of screws to mend a fence before the dog escapes, but most purchases from Bunnings are not essential. Is it essential to buy that plant? Paint that wall? Nope.

    The problem is it would require a Bunnings employee to vet every purchase and declare what they think is essential and what isn't. What a mess. Limiting purchases to tradespeople doesn't help, and sometimes I need to browse through the available options and physically inspect items before selecting one for purchase.

  • +6

    Keep them open. NSW is doing so well with the rules as they currently are. Why change?

  • Considering theres 9 exposure sites at different bunnings currently. I'd say yes they should be closed to all but emergency trade work.

  • What, close Bunnings! Where would Karen go and get free airtime!

  • +1

    Bunnings just need a couple of Zoom licenses. Set up meetings so customers can ask questions or get advice.
    Then direct customers to C&C.

  • +1

    Don't see why. Gov refuses to go hard. If Bunnings closes then everything should close

  • +2

    I know someone that works at Bunnings here in vic and during lockdown they can get hundreds of orders coming in overnight and during the day, they have employed a few more people on short term contracts to keep up with demand, also depends on which shop it as well to how many they employ!
    The computer doesn’t sort the orders in regards to how urgent it is so if your order is 350 there are 350 people who are before you, you are just going to have to wait like everybody else!!
    There has been people ringing up saying my order is “urgent “ when can I have it, unfortunately you just have to wait your turn like everybody else, if you do it for them once they would want it all the time!!
    One lady rang up from the car park and said where is my order I just lodged it 5 mins ago, sorry!!
    Bunnings will never be a perfect business even when it’s open to the public, click n collect took a bit of getting used to initially for the people that worked there hopefully it’s a lot better now

    Some people think that Bunnings make the rules in regards to lockdowns, they have to explain to “some” that the government mandates them it’s not the people who work for Bunnings

    The simple thing to do here is to get vaccinated quicker that happens the quicker there won’t be need for a lockdown!!

    • +2

      Yes, I guarantee that we are doing our best.

      • +1

        Thank you, I can imagine how entitled people are.

        I still back up the: first come first serve process

  • Keep open, spring is the best time to start gardening. Very important. Bunnings though should really do free delivery…. Far out…

  • +2

    NSW need to be in a state wide lockdown and 8pm curfew. with ring of steel around Sydney.

    • +2

      But Gladdy going for vaccinating 70% and stuffing up the rest of OZ .
      It really about time Scomo acts a bit more strongly and say to her its not acceptable .

    • Can't do it. It'll melt the "resilience" of the mega wealthy.

      In all seriousness, NSW needs to go hard and go fast now for all Sydney in my view. It feels like as though suppression is going to slip into a breakout that contract tracers will lose the ability to trace. The longer they stretch this out, the harder it will be to contain it. But I don't have the data and team of experts, so let's see what happens in the next week or two. If the virus spreads back to the wealthy areas and then spread outwards again, they may lose control of the virus. If it spreads back to the "origin" suburbs, they need to lock down hard at the outset. People will still vote for other policy offers, they shouldn't worry.



    Most of the lockdown cause is because of essential work + Personal HOMES

    • As opposed to commercial homes?

  • Unfortunately, there's nothing else to do during the weekends and people will be tempted to go shopping if it's open.

  • +2

    Bunnings stores are well ventilated and with high ceilings. Low risk of transmission there, particularly with masks on.

  • +1

    Either block it for everyone(including tradies) or open it for everyone.

  • +1

    I don't mind them being open, allow people to make reasonable decisions. I went the other day because the bathroom light broke. Place was empty.

  • +1

    Leave bunnings how is lotto shops essential?

  • The problem is that the government stuff up on the AZ messaging.
    We have to much AZ and most people don't want it.

    Instead of doing all of these covid tests, we should allow vaccination for all at the very start.

    • government stuff up on the AZ messaging.

      ATAGI stuff up

      • +1

        Someone stuffed up.
        Putting all of your eggs into one AZ bag isn't the right move.

        Why didn't they order enough AZ and Pfizer for everyone? Most countries invest in 2 or more vaccines.
        Left overs can be donated to the neighbouring countries.

        AND Howard springs quarantine should have arrived 6 months earlier!

  • The NSW should come up with a list of essential stores and businesses.

    Bunnings should only be click and collect only.

  • +5

    They should be shut. It's not fair. I have ad to close my business down, and another month wtihout cashflow, I will be out of business, I will have amounted debts, and at almost 50 years old those debts will set me back some 8-10 years in life, if I have to go out and get a regular job paying $60-$80k per year. I can not do click and collect or online sales, as I am in a serivce industry. My time, knowledge and labour is what earns me, my family and my 8 employees a living. If I could open my premises I could probably just keep my head above water as I get a god portion of my customers ringing me daily wanting our services but we can not operate in any shape or form given the lockdown rules.

    Bunnings shoud only be allowed to open say between 7 and 9 am, to tradies who have to show their licence, before they can go in. For the rest of the general public, online should be the only way to purchase

    And by the way - not just bunnings. Why does office works need to open ? and why does harvey norman need to open. they all do online sales and can deliver.

    My neighbour runs a small business, and sells some of the items these three do also, but he can not operate - he is not allowed to open. Yet these 3 big retailers get away with it. He will also be gone shortly without his walkby foot traffic and regulars comming in. Online does very very little for him - he is just too small, and can not affort to pay for google search and the like as he is simply outbid by these bud retailers in the same space.

    JB Hi fi has closed. Myer has closed. So has David Jones and my local Kmart - Do they not also sell some of the items that the three above sell ?

    All this is doing is allowing big business to benefit and put the nail in the coffin for the little guys. Harvey norman especially should be stomped on and taken to the cleaners by the govenrment for taking Job Keeper and reporting his biggest ever profit.

    • Wesfarmers and Gerry Harvey, just follow the LNP donors trail and it will start to make sense.

  • cases up coz those protests from lidcombe/lakemba/etc people.

  • Click and collect still require ppl to leave the house.
    I think we are hardwired to be out of the house at certain times. Even if we are PAOD huge amounts of money to stay IN HOUSE, we would still screw up.

  • -2

    the daily Covid numbers are just made up to justify the lockdowns and boost vaccination rates. By the way, there is currently no legal way to mandate vaccination so they have no choice but basically, hold the population to ransom with lockdowns. If you support the current government / media narrative you have been completely brainwashed over the past 18 months

    • +1

      Why not lockdown every state then?

  • bunnings should only allow tradies inside or CC only, as for the avg person should only cc only, not allow them to wander around inside….

    i remember last year 2020 and 2021 lockdown during winter/autumn with the rainy days and roof leakages, i couldnt goto bunnings to buy tarp or whatever tools to DIY fix at home….

  • Officeworks makes people wonder inside too…..

    I admit, I made a click and collect order and I really needed batteries as I forgot. I wondered about the store to find and get it. I felt guilty.

  • Finally putting Bunnings warehouses space to good use in Victoria, I hope NSW adopts this very very soon!

  • The 7-day trend shows that Australia has to soon switch to a log scale.

    It's impossible to stop nature. The best thing to do is to make the most of the situation and prepare for what comes after.

    • I'm not sure that anyone has any confidence in knowing "…what comes after…".

      • +1

        WFH, buy assets, food, bottled water and toilet tissue.

        Everything else that's happening outside is just noise.

  • Here's my experience with Bunnings recently, which is why I go in store despite me not wanting to:

    • Order placed online 22/7, all items were in stock. Arrived 27th or 28th. All metro Sydney, only a few km away.
    • Went in store to Greenacre 31/07/2021 for urgent purchase of roofing screws - 10 days later was told that I'm a casual contact. Noticed many without masks, families, blokes having discussions in the aisles, people with masks around their chins. Got out as quickly as I could but still had to get tested and isolate. Hopeless. With hindsight, I shouldn't have gone, but this was for roofing screws that were needed urgently. Either the staff were too scared to uphold the rules or they were too stretched. It wasn't busy, as I deliberately waited until late - 5.30pm on a Saturday.
    • Decided I'd try click 'n collect. Ordered Sunday 15/8. All items in stock. Finally got notification this morning that the items are ready to pick up, this morning being Thursday 19/08.

    They're hopeless. Absolutely hopeless. No wonder people go in store and take the risk.

  • If bottle shops are essential, I don't see any problems with Bunnings.