Why deodorant is behind locked doors now in Mount Isa

Jessica of Mount Isa Woolworths with Officer in Charge of Mount Isa Station, Acting Senior Sergeant Lyall McKelvie.
Jessica of Mount Isa Woolworths with Officer in Charge of Mount Isa Station, Acting Senior Sergeant Lyall McKelvie.

Woolworths has installed new secure deodorant cabinets in the health and beauty aisle at its Mount Isa store to hold all aerosol deodorant products.

Similar cabinets have also been progressively rolled out across all Woolworths stores in the Northern Territory throughout August as deodorant theft for the purpose of inhalant abuse has been reported as a community problem.

As far back as 2014 Rexona was taken off local shelves at Coles and Woolworths to prevent chroming and it was noted as a major issue in 2019.

Now after the latest moves, customers can notify a team member by pressing a button located on the side of the cabinet to get help accessing the product.

Woolworths Mount Isa Group Manager, Richard Matthews said they wanted to help reduce the abuse of these products in Mount Isa.

"With these new cabinets, we're hoping to significantly reduce the opportunity for misuse while continuing to offer access to the products where our customers expect to find them," Mr Matthews said.

"We'll listen closely to feedback from our customers, team members and local community groups on the effectiveness of the trial over the coming months.

"We'll also continue to explore further ways to help the broader community effort to address misuse."

Officer in Command of Mount Isa Station, Acting Senior Sergeant Lyall McKelvie said police were working collectively with retailers and other external agencies to reduce Volatile Substance Misuse (VSM) across Queensland.

"VSM by juveniles in the Mount Isa community poses not only a high risk of other offences being committed by these juveniles, but more importantly the significant medical harm," Acting Snr Sgt McKenzie.

"I would like to thank Woolworths in taking these preventive steps to assist the community in reducing VSM.

"Mount Isa Police are committed to preventing crime and enhancing community safety through collaborative partnerships such as this."