More than half a million dollars’ worth of Komatsu machinery damaged in the 2011 Queensland floods has been remediated and donated to training organizations as a learning tool for Australian apprentices.

More than two years after the flood, Komatsu has given back to the construction and mining industries by donating the remediated machinery to TAFE colleges and registered training organizations in Queensland and other regions.

The remediated Komatsu backhoe, skidsteer loaders and mini-excavators will be used to provide apprentices with hands-on, practical training in electrical and mechanical engineering, service and repair.

Queensland’s Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education Saxon Rice presided over the official handover ceremony on June 18, which Komatsu hosted at its new Sherwood Training and Education Centre. V8 Supercar legend Jamie Whincup was in attendance to support Komatsu apprentices in his capacity as Komatsu’s official apprentice mentor.

Also present were five students from Bundamba State Secondary College who receive support and guidance from the Beacon Foundation, a non-profit organization sponsored by Komatsu since 2001. The Beacon Foundation has assisted high school students in attaining fulltime employment or further education opportunities since 1988.

The flood that devastated southeast Queensland from December 2010 to January 2011 affected more than 70 towns and 200,000 people. Authorities declared three-quarters of Queensland a disaster zone due to flooding. Estimates of the total cost of the damage exceed $2.38 billion.

Komatsu is a leading global manufacturer of construction, earthmoving, forest and mining equipment, founded in Japan in 1921. As a renowned technological innovator, the company’s focus is on improving safety, productivity and reducing its impact on the environment. Each year Komatsu invests more than $620 million in R&D activities, with a number of advanced technologies already deployed in the global marketplace.