A man has died in a workplace accident on a farm south of Townsville. Picture: Shannen McDonald.
A man has died in a workplace accident on a farm south of Townsville. Picture: Shannen McDonald.

Community reeling after veggie farm tractor tragedy

MORE details have emerged after a man died in a workplace accident on a fruit and vegetable farm south of Townsville.

Paramedics and Home Hill Police rushed to the scene at Rocky Ponds Produce near Gumlu on Monday afternoon after reports a man was run over by a tractor.

Townsville Duty District Officer Senior Sergeant Joe Matheson said the 37-year-old worker was pronounced dead at 5.50pm.

Home Hill Police officer in charge Sergeant Steve Wilson said police believe the man had fallen from the tractor while it was moving and was partially run over.

"There was a Workplace Health and Safety incident at Rocky Ponds farm at Gumlu," Sgt Wilson said.

"A male farm worker has fallen from machinery and subsequently died.

"Workers conducted CPR until Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Police Service arrived."

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland were contacted to attend the accident on Monday evening.

WHS officials have issued a non-disturbance notice for the scene.

A spokesman for Workplace Health and Safety said an investigator had returned to Rocky Ponds Produce on Tuesday to continue inquiries.

The spokesman said yesterday it was too early to determine exact leads within the investigation.

The 750ha property produces a million cartons a year in capsicum, melon varieties and pumpkin.

Burdekin MP Dale Last said the community had been rocked by the news.

"What occurred yesterday was an absolute tragedy, and I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the man's family," Mr Last said.

"Rocky Ponds is a large scale operation employing up to 100 staff during the peak of the season and these employees are valued for their work ethic and the skills they bring to these local jobs."

Mr Last said the farm was run by Des and Paula Chapman for several decades.

"They're innovative farmers who have done a magnificent job in extending and developing their horticultural operation at Gumlu," Mr Last said.

"It attracts large numbers of seasonal workers each year and it's a valuable contributor to our local economy."


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