Flooded roads force southwest mineworkers to take helicopter
MINEWORKERS are being transported to the Kogan Creek power station as rising flood levels continue to cut access to roads across the Western Downs.
In the coming days CS Energy will helicopter small crews of essential staff members to the powerstation following floods cutting road access to the facility yesterday.
Kogan Creek Acting General Manager Jacques Dippenaar said the majority of employees left site on Thursday morning ahead of floodwaters cutting road access to the power station in the afternoon.
"The safety of our people is our first priority," Mr Dippenaar said.
"We had been watching the weather closely since last week, so once we knew road access would be cut, we made the call for the majority of our people to work from centres in Chinchilla and Dalby.
"Two helicopters are being used to transport essential operations, mines, security, emergency response and maintenance staff to and from site.
"Based on current forecasts, it is expected we will need to continue using the helicopters until Sunday, February 16 when road access reopens."
Mr Dippenaar said CS Energy undertook summer preparedness activities at its power stations each year to ensure it was ready for extreme weather events such as high rainfall and floods.
"Each year we undertake a summer readiness plan to ensure the power station and Kogan Creek Mine can respond to periods of severe weather events," he said.
This includes priority plant maintenance, putting appropriate fuel stockpiles in place and ensuring rosters and facilities are ready for critical staff to manage operations in the event access to the site is lost."