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 group in regards to the security of international employees 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 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 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 a neighborhood resident who drives round this space on a regular basis with my youngsters, I’ve at all times received 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 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 choose 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 have been nervous about.

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

“There are a variety of areas exterior of Stanthorpe which can be notably dangerous for fatalities and yeah, I am unsure 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 employees’ fatigue and guarantee they have been aware of the highway guidelines.

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

Strawberry farmer Richard Ross mentioned his farm employed buses to minimise the security threat for employees 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 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 tougher to acquire a world licence.

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

Additional signage has been put up in recent times to remind drivers to remain on the right aspect of the highway, however growers imagine that is not the one threat.

“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 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 beneath overview

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

“Council’s beforehand accomplished a program the place they put some signage as much as try to tackle [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 focusing on the backpacker lodging areas the place individuals stay. 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 finest to attempt to forestall related accidents taking place throughout the state.

“We do a variety of work with the backpackers and the farms and police do an excellent job doing a little 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 following season, so too would packages to coach 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 latest occasions have spurred a council overview into bettering security on native roads.(ABC Southern Queensland: Georgie Hewson )

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

This contains 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 season selecting season.

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