Flood-affected businesses take stock


Businesses in Queensland are beginning the slow process of taking stock of the damage caused by floods

Flood-affected businesses take stock
Flood-affected businesses take stock

By Anna Game-Lopata | January 30, 2013

Businesses in Queensland are beginning the slow process of taking stock of the damage caused by floods.

Bundaberg Sugar, Queensland's largest cane grower says its operation is at a standstill while the company continues to assess the flood damage to its
local sites.

The sugar producer, which exports much of its raw product to Singapore, Philippines, New Zealand and New Guinea, says the current situation is Bundaberg Sugar sites, including Bundaberg Walkers, are not accessible.

"We ask that our employees do not risk their safety by attempting to gain entry to the sites until advised by management," the company says on its website.

Meanwhile Coles spokesperson Jim Cooper says its store in Bundaberg is the only site not trading.

At its peak, the retailer had four stores which couldn’t trade due to flooding or loss of power.

Currently getting deliveries to the stores is the major priority.

"There are currently 20 stores north of Bundaberg which haven’t received deliveries for a few days and may be running low on certain lines," Cooper says.

"We have 30 trucks looking for alternative inland routes moving their way north at the moment."

Cooper adds it’s an hour by hour proposition but as yet hasn’t considered airlifting supplies or sending barges as it was forced to in collaboration with authorities and other retailers during the 2011 floods.

Woolworths says it is working hard to get stock to stores in Queensland and that it is closely monitoring the situation in New South Wales.

"Although weather conditions are improving in Queensland, there are still road closures which are causing delays to deliveries to some stores," the company says.

According to the Transport Workers Union (TWU) says truck drivers in Queensland are being forced to wait as rising waters cut off freight routes.

TWU Queensland Secretary Peter Biagini says thousands of dollars in produce is being lost on the back of stranded trucks throughout the state and that drivers are also feeling the brunt of the floods.

"Many drivers are not paid for their loading, unloading and waiting times, and so when something like this happens, the pressure to keep going is huge," he says.

"Without trucks Australia stops and we are calling on all drivers, companies and clients to think safe and be safe as they move goods to their destinations."

Biagini says care must be taken when driving on roads and structures that have been submerged or washed out. He has also urged road users to be wary of fallen trees and power lines.

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