Cyclone Debbie: Two new trucks for food rescue service


Funding boost for SecondBite, Aurizon begins repairs

Cyclone Debbie: Two new trucks for food rescue service
SecondBite is helping deliver food across flood-hit communities.

 

Food rescue initiative SecondBite has expanded its operations across storm-hit Queensland with new trucks thanks to a $310,000 funding boost.

Part of the Queensland government’s Dignity First Fund, the money has helped SecondBite obtain two new vehicles, including a new 8-pallet truck, to facilitate large-scale food donations.

The trucks have been collecting and redistributing food to people affected by Cyclone Debbie in south east Queensland.

CEO Jim Mullan says the funding has had a big impact on SecondBite’s ability to transport food to vulnerable Queenslanders.

"In just one month the new truck has rescued enough fresh produce to provide the equivalent of an additional 130,000 nutritious meals for Queenslanders in need," Mullan says.

"The impact of more rescued and redistributed food is immediate and profound.

"We are delighted that this Queensland Government funding has helped us scale our food relief operations so quickly."

Housing and public works minister Mick de Brenni says the funding will see SecondBite obtain a second new vehicle, a 4-pallet food van, with plans to expand operations into regional and rural Queensland.

"SecondBite have already been able to receive bulk farm gate donations with their new truck," de Brenni says.

Member for Lytton Joan Pease says people in cyclone-hit areas such as Logan and Beenleigh "have been able to access six tonnes of fresh food that would otherwise have been wasted".

Although weather conditions have improved since last week, the Bureau of Meteorology warns of further damage by floodwaters in central Queensland.

The damage to infrastructure and farming caused by the cyclone will have an impact on not only the two affected states but the entire country.

The Australian Retailers Association has already estimated up to a billion-dollar damage to agriculture, which will result in higher grocery prices, including fresh produce like capsicum, tomato, pumpkin and beans.

Meanwhile, road transport companies including Followmont, Toll and Rocky’s Own, have stated that they have been using alternative options to continue operations despite flooding, and road and highway closures.

Earlier, Queensland roads and road safety minister Mark Bailey visited Rockhampton and inspected the Yeppen Floodplain traffic management plan that has been diverting motorists off the flooded section of the Bruce Highway since earlier this week.

Rail update

Aurizon has begun repairs across the Newlands, Goonyella, Blackwater and Moura coal systems, with dates of re-opening of terminals pushed forward a week.

The company is using alternative routing options to move freight until the repairs along all affected lines is complete.

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