Steel rails from WA on way to Cloncurry to help out flood reconstruction

Steel rails from WA on way to Cloncurry to help out flood reconstruction


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John Wheeler of Patience Bulk Haulage Geraldton, James Mellor of Newman Low Loaders with Peta Tindall and Michael King just outside of Mount Isa on Wednesday.

John Wheeler of Patience Bulk Haulage Geraldton, James Mellor of Newman Low Loaders with Peta Tindall and Michael King just outside of Mount Isa on Wednesday.

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Geraldton's Michael King said 600 tonnes of rail is headed for Cloncurry thanks to truck drivers and the mining industry.

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THREE truckies have come from the West to the North West bringing vital supplies of steel rail to help out with the reconstruction effort following last month's devastating floods.

Geraldton-based convoy organiser Michael King said it was the first consignment of 600 tonnes of rail headed for Cloncurry thanks to the generosity of truck drivers and the mining industry.

Mr King of Faststar Holdings (and his partner Peta Tindall) was joined by John Wheeler of Patience Bulk Haulage Geraldton and James Mellor of Newman Low Loaders departed Port Hedland in WA's Pilbara region on Sunday with the rail donated by BHP and Sims Metal.

On arrival in Cloncurry the rail will be handed over to Blaze Aid where it will be distributed for use in fencing properties and stockyards.

Mr King says once he heard of the impact of the floods he got to work.

"We heard the call on the ABC radio on Sunday morning that they were looking for some rail," Mr King said.

"So I made a few phone calls and it just escalated from there."

Mr King contacted his daughter Holly who works for BHP in Newman and she alerted her management.

"BHP donated the rail in a joint venture with Sims Metal because there is a legal obligation where you hand it over as it is actually scrap," he said.

BHP cut the rail and the three trucks left with the first 190 tonnes on Sunday bound for Cloncurry.

The North West Star caught up with the convoy three days and 3380km later in Mount Isa on Wednesday afternoon.

"We're anxious to get to Cloncurry tonight, we don't want to miss the Christmas party," Mr King joked.

"We'll hand it over to Blaze Aid who are on the ground in Cloncurry, though one truck will go on to Richmond."

When asked why volunteered to do it, Mr King responded:

"I was carting chemicals to McArthur River when I ran into a bloke heading to Cape Crawford (NT), he told me what was going on over here and it went from here," he said.

"I got out of bed Sunday morning and said to Peta I'm going to get a load of rail to take over to these people, and no one seemed to say no."

In total more than $300,000 of product has been donated and that doesn't include truck costs.

Mr King said it costs $15,000 a trip to run the truck plus $9000 in diesel.

"We have some smaller distributors who come forward with donations but fair dinkum, there's some big boys out there who could help out," he said.

If you can help out with the truck costs, contact Michael on 0428 929 598.

The North West Star

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