As flood-affected communities in northern New South Wales are again being lashed by severe weather, Australian Defence Force personnel deployed on Operation Flood Assist 2022 are providing further assistance to support the needs of the community.
CAPTION: Soldiers deployed on Operation Flood Assist 2022 in Lismore, New South Wales, are making preparations to support local communities by door knocking, sandbagging and assisting with the relocation of residents. Story by Flight Lieutenant Dee Irwin. Photo by Corporal Jonathan Goedhart.
More than 3000 ADF personnel and assets remain in the area to support emergency services as required and to continue essential tasking.
Army officer Captain Peter MacIntyre, currently embedded in the Lismore Recovery Coordination Centre, said all ADF personnel were ready to help in any way possible.
“New tasks for our people have taken the form of door knocking to advise community members in low-lying areas of the current evacuation orders, as well as assisting the local services as they again go through the difficult process of moving residents out of the flooded areas,” Captain MacIntyre said.
The ADF has had a significant presence throughout northern New South Wales over the past few weeks and the relationship with local services remains strong.
Captain MacIntyre said the interoperability of all of the emergency services with the ADF has been a key reason for the clean-up proceeding quickly.
The Lismore Recovery Coordination Centre has been fundamental to community recovery, giving NSW Resilience and other key stakeholders a place to coordinate flood recovery efforts and ensure northern NSW gets back on track.
“The emergency operations centre (EOC) provides a key point of coordination for the services and the ADF has fit in seamlessly, giving the EOC extra flexibility with the increased manpower and machinery that the ADF provides,” Captain MacIntyre said.
“The ADF support has been well received by the communities and has had a profoundly positive impact.
“The commitment of so many ADF personnel on the ground and supporting the recovery efforts has enabled residents and local councils the opportunity to move forward with rebuilding their communities and focus on the future.”