Figures obtained by BrisbaneNow show Brisbane City Council has a stockpile of more than 30,000 masks.
20,000 of those are fabric face masks, 10,800 are disposable and 500 are face shields.
Earlier this week Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, urged people to wear face masks on public transport.
“If you’re in a taxi, or a ride-share or on public transport, that’s a time to wear a mask,” Dr Young said.
Following Dr Young’s recommendation, bus drivers have been asking Council for masks, but it seems the request has fallen on deaf ears.
An email sent to council employees reads “Council will not be supplying face masks to employees due to coronavirus.”
Deputy Opposition Leader Kara Cook addressed the issue in Tuesday’s council meeting, urgently calling on the administration to release masks to bus drivers and other council officers.
“We heard a short time ago from the Lord Mayor about how he is the only person who takes bus driver safety seriously, well here is your chance Lord Mayor, you can show every Council employee and every person in this city how important you take their safety right now and vote with us to support our Council employees,” Cr Cook said.
The Lord Mayor and other LNP councillors voted against the urgency motion.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union assistant state secretary Tom Brown said the cluster is a growing concern and bus drivers have resorted to buying their own masks.