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Work heats up for outback road gangs

By Chrissy Arthur, Friday November 30, 2012 - 12:11 EDT

A south-west Queensland mayor says heatwave conditions in the remote region are making it tough for outdoor workers.

Bulloo Mayor John Ferguson says crews working to patch roads near Thargomindah in south-west Queensland have recorded temperatures on the bitumen into the mid 50 degrees Celsius range this week.

Yesterday, it reached 43 degrees in the town and Councillor Ferguson says it has asked its crews to start work early and go home in the middle of the day to avoid heatstroke.

"They were bitumen patching and I think they measured 55 degrees on the bitumen, which is too hot," he said.

"We don't want people going down with heatstroke - it can cause a lot of problems - so we said, 'go home and start early in the morning, knock off at about 11 or so and work that way until the heatwave gets over us'."

He says the heat hit hard and quickly.

"We are feeling it - it is tough, particularly for blokes doing bitumen patching or any manual labour," he said.

"You can go down quick - you probably don't realise - you think are going along okay and then all of a sudden you are dehydrated and you start to feel crook and down you go.

"Bushfires are still a big worry with all this heat around.

"The ground is so hot, you only have to have one dry storm and that's it - you're gone again and you'll have bushfires everywhere.


- ABC

© ABC 2012

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