In August 2019 the Bay Building Services Queensland Team were approached by RACQ, to volunteer for a program traveling to far North Western Queensland to undertake work on properties that that were severely impacted by floods in February earlier this year.
All focus was on Townsville and the flood damage to properties there. Whilst in the rural areas to the west, there was a catastrophe of massive proportions that did not receive the national media recognition that it would otherwise have.
The majority of Eastern Australian rural communities have been under unprecedented drought conditions for quite some time, with the North Western area of QLD in their seventh year of devastating drought conditions. The Cloncurry district, where the team headed, had endured 42 days straight of temperatures over 40 degrees before the rainfall arrived in February 2019. The Graziers were initially thrilled by the prospect of substantial rainfall, however the celebration of the rainfall was soon replaced with despair as 700 mm of rain was recorded in 7 days and the heatwave replaced with temperatures below 10 degrees with driving winds.
There was an expanse of floodwater covering an area the size of Victoria, (over 200,000 km2). Stock losses from this event were reported in the media to be 500,000 stock however the Graziers we spoke to believe the more accurate losses were close to 1,000,000 stock.
The RACQ Foundation in a joint effort with Connecting Communities Australia “mustered up” a group of volunteers to travel to Cloncurry and work on a number of properties that were affected by this event. On behalf of Bay Building Services, our QLD State Manager, Steve Fordham and Supervisor/Estimator, Stuart Kidd, formed part of a group of 30 volunteers, including Carpenters and Mechanics from the RACQ Insurance Service Provider Panel, who responded to the call for assistance, here is their story….