Acting Commander COVID-19 Taskforce Major General Paul Kenny said yesterday an additional 1000 personnel were ready to deploy to Victoria at the request of the State government.
CAPTION: Australian Army soldiers assist New South Wales Police officers at a border control point in Albury, during Operation COVID-19 Assist. Photo by Corporal David Cotton.
“We’re working closely with the Victorian government to finalise these arrangements and determine exactly what support the ADF is best suited to provide,” Major General Kenny said.
“While that is occurring, we are also working to ensure our personnel are available to deploy quickly once the specific requests are known.”
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds announced a different 1000-troop deployment to Victoria on 25 June and, while she said the Victorian government had requested the assistance, that ‘request’ was rescinded after the announcement and the troops did not deploy.
Around 280* [though the actual numbers are very sketchy] ADF personnel are currently working on COVID-19 Assist in Victoria…
Victoria – 421* personnel
- 163* ADF personnel are involved in medical testing initiatives.
- 54* personnel are involved in planning and logistics support.
- 60* personnel are supporting Victoria Police checkpoints.
- 11* personnel are supporting the Police Assistance Line call centre in Ballarat.
*do the math for yourself [just for a laugh].
The above figures are from Defence’s official COVID-19 Assist ‘fact sheet’, updated on 14 July, but contradict the following figures published in a separate story by Defence on the 13th.
ADF personnel are currently supporting Victorian Police, Emergency Management Victoria and Victorian Department of Health and Human Services with a range of tasks.
About 160 personnel are supporting public health testing sites throughout the state, with commitments to metropolitan police checkpoints recently increased to 175 personnel.
Up to 350 personnel are supporting NSW Police at 29 border control points across the state, while about 60 personnel support South Australia Police along the state border with Victoria.
“Defence has a long history of supporting the population in disaster situations, but this is an unprecedented mission for us because we’re supporting the nation across all locations, with every state and territory requesting and getting support at the same time,” Major General Kenny said.
“We have built strong partnerships with the states and territories through Operation Bushfire Assist and now Operation COVID-19 Assist.
“This year, perhaps more than any other, the ADF has proved it can provide rapid, scalable assistance in support of lead agencies so they can focus on their frontline responsibilities.”