As Brisbane Markets Reopen, Growers Assess Damage

By Hari Yellina
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Trading resumed in a limited capacity at the flood-damaged Brisbane Markets early yesterday morning after a significant clean-up. Wholesalers worked around the clock on Tuesday (1 February) to guarantee buyers had access to fresh food by opening on Wednesday morning. As the waters recede, a better image of what will be necessary to restore the Brisbane Markets to full capacity will emerge. Brisbane Markets Limited owns the facility (BML). According to BML chair Anthony Kelly, there is still much work to be done to ensure the space is completely functional. Mr Kelly remarked, “But we know what we have to do and how to achieve it.”

The clean-up efforts were hampered by continued traffic closures, which made it difficult to reach the location via major thoroughfares. “Now that we have better access to the site again, we’re cleaning up and restoring all services and warehouses,” he said. “I cannot express my gratitude enough for the efforts made by BML staff, our contractors, and our tenants in getting the property back up and running. “Their perseverance in the face of adversity is inspiring.” Flood levels overwhelmed the Brisbane Markets site, reaching a peak of roughly 8m on Monday morning, about 1m lower than the 2011 flood peak.

“In 2011, we learned a lot.” Mr Kelly said, “We have flood mitigation methods and plans in place to allow BML to get the facility up and running as quickly as feasible.” “The fresh produce industry’s tenacity, particularly among wholesalers in the Markets, is inspirational. “They’ve relocated mountains to ensure that local fruit and vegetable shops have fresh produce.” Moreover, vegetable growers in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales are reviewing their losses as Queensland’s largest fresh produce central market location tries to get back on its feet.

Ausveg, Queensland state member Growcom, and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are encouraging primary producers to complete the online Natural Disaster Impact Survey and keep records of the impact of the floods on their properties and businesses, including photos, to help with the collection of flood impact data in Queensland. This information will guarantee that DAF is able to capture the necessary information in order to create assistance applications more promptly to aid recovery.


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