Aurizon is working with local communities in regions affected by Cyclone Debbie with all hands on deck to support clean up efforts, deliver much needed supplies, and prepare for the ongoing impacts of rising floodwaters.
In recent days, Aurizon train drivers and other employees from Rockhampton, Stanwell and Callemondah have been lending a hand to a number of communities preparing for the major flooding expected with the peaking of the Fitzroy River floodwaters on Wednesday:
Rockhampton Airport – assisting in erection of a flood proof barrier
Rockhampton Police Citizens Youth Club – help with relocating of important documents, archival material and youth gardening centre
Rockhampton Information Centre – relocation of documents and sandbagging the centre to help protect from flooding
Rockhampton Showground – assisted locals by making approximately 1000 sandbags and loading into cars/vehicles.
Aurizon Vice President Operations Central Queensland, Peter Cowan, based in Rockhampton said there was a long tradition of Aurizon and its employees helping the community during natural disasters.
“While we have mobilised all infrastructure crews for recovery work, train drivers and other employees have capacity at the moment to help with community efforts,” he said.
“Aurizon employees live and work in these local communities affected by flooding, and it's important we roll up our sleeves to help with flood preparation and recovery.
“There's an extraordinary amount of community spirit, and when people are faced with these types of events we all pitch in to do what we can to protect property and community assets.”
Aurizon has also pulled out all stops to get freight to their customers, despite the North Coast line still being out of service with floodwaters in Rockhampton and infrastructure damage in the section between Rockhampton and Mackay.
Aurizon has offered retail customers the option to send their freight by road, which has also proved challenging with road closures due to localised flooding.
Key Account Manager for Intermodal, Stuart Dachs said two major retail customers were extremely grateful for Aurizon’s flexibility and effort to ensure groceries were able to get to a community that was very much in need.
“On Saturday 1 April, the small mining community of Collinsville, which is inland from Bowen, was delighted when Aurizon trucks arrived with much needed groceries for the local supermarkets,” said Stuart.
“The town of Collinsville had been cut off for almost four days before the groceries got through. Being able to deliver these much needed supplies was the result of our logistics team in Mackay working closely with our customers on a logistics solution.
“Our whole approach during this time has been to maintain flexibility and be responsive to our customers and the communities we deliver to.”