WORK FLOODS IN: Aerial view of Port Curtis during the 2011 floods, with the Hastings Deering plant pictured centre. The company hopes to re-commence operations soon after being shut down for over a week.
WORK FLOODS IN: Aerial view of Port Curtis during the 2011 floods, with the Hastings Deering plant pictured centre. The company hopes to re-commence operations soon after being shut down for over a week. Chris Ison

Rocky industry giant loses almost a million a day in floods

HASTINGS Deering bosses are breathing a sigh of relief flood waters didn't inundate the company's Port Curtis administration offices.

But there's still a big clean-up job ahead.

The site has been closed for over a week, but Rockhampton region area manager Andrew Dare said the company was hopefullll employees could start returning in small groups from Monday or Tuesday.

Mr Dare said the peak of close to 9m meant the company could finally start planning the recovery phase.

He said small teams of workers would come back as various sections of the company were brought online, with over 400 people out of action during the flood.

Although the water may not have caused major damage to the site, Mr Dare said there was a substantial economic impact.

"When we're out of operation, it can be anywhere up to $5 to 6 million a week we don't get to produce," he said.

Before the flood, employees helped dismantle everything in the administration office.

Although they won't have to clean the office, Mr Dare said it would take time to reconnect everything.

"We don't envisage a huge clean up given the water hasn't come through the branch," he said.

"For us it's about putting everything back.

"We lifted a lot of equipment out of the water.

"We consider ourselves pretty lucky ... but we're going to have a lot of work getting all the equipment back on site.

"It's the difference between being a couple of weeks out of action and a couple of months having to clean out mud and stuff."

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Another large Rockhampton employer, Teys Australia at Lakes Creek, also shut down as flood waters rose.

Corporate services general manager Tom Maguire said the Lakes Creek site would resume cattle processing Monday, with the remainder of the plant fully operational by Tuesday.

While 950 staff have been off work for the week, causing "significant impact" economically, the site was largely unaffected by flood with important equipment moved to higher ground.

"Staff have been absolutely terrific during this event and it's because of them we'll be able to get back up," Mr Maguire said.

"We've minimised that impact on our business by working with our cattle suppliers and our customers.

"For some of our cattle suppliers of course the rain was most welcome and we've got to remember sometimes when we live in cities, rural Australia rely on these sort of rain events sometimes."



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