The Road Ahead : April 2013
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU THE ROAD AHEAD APR/MAY 2013 14 COMMUNITY | BUNDABERG HELP STORY BELINDA PETERS IN THE LEAD-UP to Australia Day, ex- Tropical Cyclone Oswald made its way down the Queensland coast, leaving a trail of destruction and flooding in its wake. Bundaberg bore the brunt of the damage, with the Burnett River peaking at a record level of 9.5 metres, with violent winds and driving rain adding to the devastation. RACQ's Contract Service Provider (CSP) in Bundaberg, Canelanders Automotive Service, experienced the impact of the floods first-hand, with the water lapping at their doorstep while they moved the cars in their workshop to safer ground. As the waters receded and the road into the sugar city re-opened, the RACQ contingent consisting of the RACQ Community Response Team (CRT), roadside assistance, insurance and retail, moved in to town. Scenes of utter chaos greeted them, the receding waters having left behind displaced houses, piles of debris and a lot of flooded cars. According to Steve Irwin, RACQ Community Response Team Leader, the team's first function was to help Canelanders get back on their feet, and set up in a prominent location to help members and insurance customers. "The road service guys from Canelanders were exhausted, so we were able to give them the support on the road, and then we were able to help with the insurance work to speed things up for the members and customers," Mr Irwin said. Using the Mobile Member and Training centres as their base, the RACQ teams were able to get stuck into the clean up and processing and assessing claims for household and motor damage. According to Beverley Pearse, a Claims Customer Service Officer, the onsite claims process was well received by the often distressed locals, who were sometimes unsure of whether their house or car would be covered. "I was able put their mind at ease, to make sure they know they will be okay, and give them a much better understanding that their policies covered them for flood damage," Ms Pearse said. Jean Mylea, owner of Canelanders Automotive Service Centre, agreed and said that locals were impressed by the quick and personal service. "The people were absolutely gobsmacked that their car was picked up, assessed and within an hour they had someone on the phone talking to them about the value of the car," she said. RACQ Group Chief Executive Officer Ian Gillespie said that he was immensely proud of the work of the RACQ teams in Bundaberg. "I am extremely proud of the work of the whole team in helping out our Bundaberg members when they needed us the most," he said. "Thanks to this team approach, in some cases claims were processed and paid in the same day, which is taking our insurance service to a whole new level." flood response RACQ responds to Bundaberg crisis.