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

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

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Fears are rising in southern Queensland’s agricultural neighborhood in regards to the security of international employees on native roads, after the stunning 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 residence 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 employees arrived within the area post-COVID, their inexperience on roads was a priority for locals.

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

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

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

Doing what they’ll

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

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

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

“There are lots of areas exterior of Stanthorpe which are significantly unhealthy for fatalities and yeah, I am undecided as a resident or as a grower, what we will 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 employees’ fatigue and guarantee they had been aware of the highway guidelines.

“Everybody does as a lot as they’ll for his or her employees.”

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

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

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

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

However Mr Ross believed it ought to be made harder 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 individual automobile, it’s best to should take some type of check,” he mentioned.

Further signage has been put up in recent times to remind drivers to remain on the right 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 usually grown up in cities driving very slowly. Driving quick and in larger automobiles 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 below assessment

Southern Downs Regional Councillor and driving teacher Andrew Gale mentioned current highway incidents had prompted him to reassess what else could possibly be completed.

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

“There’s additionally been some highway security messages have been put out by the native police, significantly focusing on the backpacker lodging areas the place folks reside. Clearly, that must be checked out once more, and see how that may be centered.”

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

“We do lots of work with the backpackers and the farms and police do an impressive job performing some training 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 packages to teach employees on giant farms.

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

“Additional highway security displays organised by the Stanthorpe Highway Policing Unit, which had been halted through the COVID-19 worldwide border closures, will resume in the beginning of the strawberry season,” the spokesperson mentioned.

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

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