As floods recede, trucking declares: "We're ready to serve"

The trucking industry will be largely responsible for helping Queensland recover. The QTA says 'we're ready to serve'

As floods recede, trucking declares: "We're ready to serve"
As flood recovery begins, trucking declares: "We're ready to serve"
By Brad Gardner | January 17, 2011

As Queensland swings into recovery mode in the wake of devastating floods, the trucking industry says it is ready to shoulder the load of getting the state back on its feet.

Queensland Trucking Association CEO Peter Garske says the industry will be vital in re-supplying isolated towns and rebuilding houses and businesses wrecked by the floods. He says rail providers are not in a position to cart general freight and cannot respond as quickly as the trucking industry when goods need to be delivered.

With Premier Anna Bligh today holding a special Cabinet meeting to chart a path to recovery, Garske says: "We’re ready to serve."

"It will become very apparent very quickly that the trucking industry will be vitally important," he says.

"Our contribution to the recovery of the economy will be huge. The trucking industry will, as it always has, be the service provider."

Garske is part of the Bligh Government’s flood recovery taskforce and has been tasked with advising on how best to get the freight task moving.

He says the taskforce will need to work out what freight is prioritised and where it is sent.

"If we have limited access to a limited number of freight routes then we’re going to need to use that wisely," Garske says.

He cautions against imposing unnecessary restrictions on roads, saying it might limit the industry’s efficiency and effectiveness. However, he adds that operators might need to accept reduced speeds through some areas hit hard by the floods.

"I remain hopeful – and I will be making the case to the government – we should not, where possible, be limiting the weight of trucks," Garske says.

The floods devastated most of the state, with Bligh declaring 75 percent of Queensland a disaster zone.

After cutting off towns in central and North Queensland, floods swept through Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley. The death toll currently stands at 18, but there are still 14 people missing in the Lockyer.

Thousands of homes and businesses in the Brisbane CBD and surrounding suburbs were inundated last week, with rising waters destroying properties and leaving many without power.

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