Troops from the 7th Brigade have deployed to St Lucia, Queensland, with heavy equipment to hasten the clean-up effort after the disastrous Brisbane floods.
CAPTION: An Australian Army rifleman from 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, assists the local community to move flood-damaged belongings in St Lucia, Brisbane, during Operation Flood Assist 2022. Story by Lieutenant Nic Hawkins. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.
Owner of the St Lucia Supermarket Mr John Chai was relieved to see soldiers removing significant amounts of tainted food from his premises into the Army’s heavy-duty trucks.
“This is the second time we have had to go through this exercise, removing flood affected food from my business and throwing it out,” Mr Chai said.
“The Army helped last time as well, but with the big equipment we can get the rotten, smelly food off the streets quickly, my wife and I are so grateful.
St Lucia Supermarket is well-known in the area, right in the heart of where thousands of people live, and close to the University of Queensland.
It is important for the business to be up and running quickly so residents can return to their homes and get back to normal life following the flood disaster.
“We have lost more than $400,000 worth of stock, and of course all the fridges and freezers need to be fixed or replaced, its tiresome work,” Mr Chai said.
“We are so relieved to be helped by the Army, we are now able to quickly move into the next step, to reopen the store as the loading bay is clear of rotten food and broken equipment.
Lieutenant Brayden Grubb said this had been a humbling experience for him.
“Seeing so many people come together has been really rewarding, the soldiers, residents, business owners, volunteers,” he said.
“Now with the addition of heavy vehicles we can accelerate removing the huge volume of debris, personal effects, appliances and food.
“We’re working so everyone can get back home, and we won’t be leaving until the job is done.”