LJ Hooker staff, from left, Michael Rossiter, Vicki Edgecomb, and Keith Edwards outside their temporary mobile office. BELOW: The heart of the operation, inside.
LJ Hooker staff, from left, Michael Rossiter, Vicki Edgecomb, and Keith Edwards outside their temporary mobile office. BELOW: The heart of the operation, inside. David Nielsen

Staff revved up to be back in CBD

DURING the Ipswich floods, images of an underwater LJ Hooker Ipswich office were broadcast worldwide.

Just over two weeks later, the agency is back in the CBD, operating across the road from their former office from a V8 mobile boardroom parked in the Coles car park.

Principal Michael Rossiter, who operates eight Queensland offices with business partner Des Besanko, said by Thursday, January 13, the Goodna office was evacuated in the morning, with the Ipswich office in the afternoon.

Ironically the office had only relocated to its new CBD premises in Limestone Street just six months ago.

“The water rose really fast,” Mr Rossiter said.

“We were lucky we had time to get the IT and the files out.

“Goodna we had no warning.”

His Fig Tree Pocket home in Brisbane’s west was also inundated, with he and his family finding temporary accommodation in Auchenflower.

Mr Rossiter said thanks to staff and a group of their spouses and children, the Ipswich office had been cleaned up in just a day.

He said by the following Tuesday, January 18, the business was up and running, operating from staff residences.

Mr Rossiter said through a friend connected with the V8 Utes, he was able to secure the mobile office, which is worth over $300,000.

The mobile boardroom was designed and built as the Australian V8 Ute Racing’s administration centre, travels to all round around the country and is a fully furnished functioning office with air conditioning, work stations, TVs, boardroom and internet services.

The 13-strong team moved into their temporary accommodation on Thursday .

“It is a bit cramped but it is better than the alternative,” Mr Rossiter said.

“Plus it is bringing people back into the CBD.”

He said currently they were waiting for an electrical, air conditioning and fire safety assessment of their Ipswich office, with carpenters on stand by.

At Goodna, fit out of the Smiths Road office is taking place.

He said he hoped the business could set an example for others.

“The faster people are up and running, the faster the Ipswich economy can get back to normal,” Mr Rossiter said.

Along with being used at V8 Supercar events, the boardroom was recently used as a green room for performers at the i98FM Camp Quality Convoy for Kids event in Wollongong.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was pleased local businesses were getting back on their feet and said it was the only way to overcome the disaster.



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