Home NewsAustralia Four person fatal crash a ‘wakeup call’ for horitculture industry

Four person fatal crash a ‘wakeup call’ for horitculture industry

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Fears are rising in southern Queensland’s agricultural neighborhood in regards to the security of international staff on native roads, after the surprising deaths of 4 younger Korean backpackers in a car crash.

Households of the ladies, aged 23 to twenty-eight, arrived in Brisbane this week and are receiving assist from the Korean Consulate to return their our bodies house to South Korea.

A fundraiser arrange by the Korean Society of Queensland has additionally raised cash to assist with the households’ prices.

Emma Flood from the Granite Belt Growers’ Affiliation mentioned as extra international staff arrived within the area post-COVID, their inexperience on roads was a priority for locals.

“These ladies have been simply these 4 younger females [who] have simply labored an extended day in a packing shed,” Ms Flood mentioned.

“It’s tragic and, as an area resident who drives round this space on a regular basis with my kids, I’ve at all times obtained it on my thoughts.”

Dozens of bouquets of flowers have been left on the intersection the place the 4 younger ladies misplaced their lives.  (ABC Southern Queensland: Georgie Hewson )

Doing what they will

In Queensland’s Granite Belt area, international backpackers have been the lifeblood of the native horticulture business which was reliant on about 6,000 individuals to select and pack their product.

Ms Flood mentioned many staff from abroad weren’t aware of the highway guidelines and there have been a number of hotspots that locals have been frightened about.

“They do come over right here with little expertise [on the roads],” she mentioned.

“There are numerous areas outdoors of Stanthorpe which are notably dangerous for fatalities and yeah, I am undecided as a resident or as a grower, what we are able to do.”

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4 Korean backpackers die in a Queensland freeway automobile crash.

She mentioned most growers took the time to handle their staff’ fatigue and guarantee they have been aware of the highway guidelines.

“Everybody does as a lot as they will for his or her staff.”

Strawberry farmer Richard Ross mentioned his farm employed buses to minimise the protection danger for staff attending to and from their shifts.

A farmer standing in a strawberry field
Richard Ross’ strawberry farm ferries workers to and from work on buses.(ABC Southern Queensland: Georgie Hewson )

“We see close to misses far too typically and particularly foreigners which have by no means pushed on small nation roads,” he mentioned.

“However backpackers, they’re with us typically just one or two weeks and we actually clarify to them our junction is true off the 100 kilometre per hour freeway and we implore with them as a lot to simply be smart.”

However Mr Ross believed it ought to be made tougher to acquire a world licence.

“Having a international driver’s licence will not be ok and if you are going to be shopping for your personal car, it’s best to need to take some kind of take a look at,” he mentioned.

Additional signage has been put up lately to remind drivers to remain on the proper facet of the highway, however growers imagine that is not the one danger.

“I do know the crash occurred on the freeway, however these again regional nation roads are a hazard,” Mr Ross mentioned.

“They’ve typically grown up in cities driving very slowly. Driving quick and in larger vehicles will not be one thing they’re used to.”

A sign on the side of a highway reads: 'Drive on left in Australia'
The Southern Downs Regional Council have put in signage across the Granite Belt to remind foreigners of native highway guidelines. (ABC Southern Queensland: Georgie Hewson )

Security measures underneath evaluate

Southern Downs Regional Councillor and driving teacher Andrew Gale mentioned latest highway incidents had prompted him to reassess what else may very well be accomplished.

“Council’s beforehand accomplished a program the place they put some signage as much as attempt to handle [keeping to the left] once we’re driving on the highway right here, in order that’s one factor we have accomplished,” he mentioned.

“There’s additionally been some highway security messages have been put out by the native police, notably concentrating on the backpacker lodging areas the place individuals stay. Clearly, that must be checked out once more, and see how that may be targeted.”

Darling Downs Assistant Police Commissioner Mike Condon mentioned police did their greatest to attempt to stop comparable accidents taking place throughout the state.

“We do numerous work with the backpackers and the farms and police do an excellent job doing a little schooling there,” he mentioned.

“However every so often, sadly, somebody [has a lapse of] judgement.”

A spokesperson for the Queensland Police Service mentioned as international employee numbers ramped up over the subsequent season, so too would applications to teach staff on massive farms.

A man in a plaid shirt and brown jacket stands on the road looking serious and concerned
Cr Andrew Gale says latest occasions have spurred a council evaluate into bettering security on native roads.(ABC Southern Queensland: Georgie Hewson )

“Additional highway security shows organised by the Stanthorpe Highway Policing Unit, which have been halted throughout the COVID-19 worldwide border closures, will resume firstly of the strawberry season,” the spokesperson mentioned.

This contains an annual presentation at an area strawberry farm the place a number of hundred staff attend and an annual highway security occasion to coincide with the beginning of the summer time selecting season.

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