Australian Defence Force helicopters will today deploy to NSW to support search and rescue activities for the flood emergency.
FILE PHOTO (2013): A helicopter loadmaster surveys floodwaters near Bundaberg, Queensland. Photograph by Corporal Janine Fabre.
Additional ADF personnel and equipment will also deploy this week to assist with the clearance and recovery operation.
Acting Minister for Defence Marise Payne said the ADF stood ready to support state emergency services with the immediate response to the floods.
“Defence is working with the NSW State Emergency Operations Centre to determine how it can further support and assist state emergency services with tasks such as assessing damage to properties, clearing roads and helping restore electricity and water,” Minister Payne said.
“Defence is well-equipped to provide further assistance if required, which was demonstrated last year when the ADF provided support during the Black Summer Bushfires, throughout COVID-19 and the recent bushfires in Western Australia.
“Once again, our ADF personnel are showing their professionalism and dedication in the face of very difficult conditions.
“All Australians can be proud of the way Defence has been assisting the emergency services across the country in these challenging circumstances.”
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said that the New South Wales government said that the hard work of removing flood-affected property contents would be demanding and dangerous work.
“Defence has quickly got the ball rolling to provide the appropriate equipment and personnel for the clean-up task,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The ADF has the heavy equipment and expertise to clear roads to allow access to those isolated in both urban and regional areas.
“This will allow experts in the civil sector to get in and repair critical infrastructure and essential services.
“The amount of flood and storm debris to be removed will be enormous and could be overwhelming for those trying to put their lives back together.
“They will be given comfort when the men and women in uniform turn up, stand shoulder to shoulder with them and get the job done.”
Ms Payne said Defence remained engaged with State and Federal agencies to ensure it expeditiously deployed its personnel and capabilities where they were most needed.