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Suzuki supports storm relief

Helping hands: Suzuki Queensland general manager Adam Le Fevre and Brisbane SES local controller Lowry Boyd with SES volunteers Ivor Smith and Ron Gibson and a used Suzuki billboard skin.

Used billboard skins to double as house roofs as Suzuki aids Queensland storm relief

Suzuki logo3 Feb 2012

SUZUKI has come up with an innovative way to aid Queenslanders in need by donating discarded billboard skins to the State Emergency Service (SES) for use as emergency roof tarpaulins during the current storm season.

The basic but clever recycling idea is the bran-child of Adam Le Fevre, the general manager of Suzuki Auto Co (SAC) – the Japanese brand’s independent distributor in Queensland and northern NSW – who recently noticed a number of homes with tarps still stretched over roofs damaged in last year’s destructive summer.

“Irononically, I then passed a billboard advertising the Suzuki Kizashi and it was in perfect condition – that drew my attention to the stockpile of out-dated billboard skins we had been holding,” said Mr Le Fevre.

Like many car companies, SAC had been hoarding used vinyl advertising banners – known in the industry as billboard skins because they are stretched over supporting frames – in this case at its parts distribution warehouse at Eagle Farm.

But in a move that could encourage other car companies to do the same, Mr Fevre decided to donate the heavy-duty banners to the Brisbane City SES Group to protect houses with roof damage.

“My staff contacted the Emergency Management Queensland, as well as the Brisbane City SES Group local controller, who inspected the skins. Their response was that they would welcome the opportunity to use the skins as an aid for roof damage training.

“Most of the skins have an outside pocket with a strong rope drawstring inside which is used to attach the skins to the billboard frames. If the skins will stay on a billboard, we saw no reason why they wouldn’t stay on a roof to act as a tarp.

“We’re not asking that the advertising side be displayed – we’re just delighted that we are able to recycle them in a new and beneficial way. It’s a lead that we would encourage other car manufacturers and billboard advertisers to follow,” he said.

Brisbane City SES Group local controller Lowry Boyd said the donation was a welcome show of support.

“Our volunteers will be able to put the donated Suzuki billboard skins to good use this storm season,” he said. “At six metres long and four metres wide, they are an ideal size and weight for use in roof damage training.”

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