TAFE campus back on track

TAFE Central Highlands campus services manager Jane Baker.
TAFE Central Highlands campus services manager Jane Baker.

CENTRAL Queensland Institute of TAFE’s Central Highlands campus is back operating at full strength after being inundated by floodwaters in January.

The floods cut off road access to and from the town for weeks and caused an enormous amount of damage to the campus.

Business Services manager Jane Baker said while operations have returned to normal, the campus was significantly affected and there was still work to be done.

“I was shocked at the extent of the damage as I had not expected the campus to be flooded – it wasn’t flooded in 2008,” Ms Baker said.

“When we finally got in there the water had gone down but there was muddy residue everywhere, in ground-floor classrooms and workshops. Even the elevator shaft was full of floodwater.”

Jane said the campus was fortunate to have the assistance of volunteers from businesses who assisted in the massive clean-up.

“When I saw the extent of the work and knowing that I’d only have about eight staff turning up to work on January 4, I went to the Central Highlands Regional Council offices for assistance,” she said.

“They were brilliant. They organised a crew of about 20 to start pressure-hosing through the canteen area.

“The next day they came back with 40 more helpers and helped remove damaged equipment.

“Relocating the salvageable library resources required a forklift.

“It was a massive job and over the following days helpers cleaned out the workshops, footpaths and classrooms.”

The total clean-up took two weeks and Central Highlands campus reopened on January 24 and recommenced classes on the 31st.

Jane said extensive refurbishment work was ongoing throughout the campus, so the hard work was not over yet.

“I want to thank campus staff, volunteers and the businesses who contributed enormously to our clean-up efforts, particularly, Central Highlands Regional Council, BMA Gregory Crinum, Golding Contractors, Kestrel Coal, the Rural Fire Service and Skilling Solutions Queensland.”

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