Defence is providing support to communities affected by the NSW floods in response to requests from NSW Emergency Services through Emergency Management Australia.
CAPTION: Royal Australian Navy Midshipman Daniel Snels and Able Seaman Alice Shelverton from Joint Task Force 629 assess the Hawkesbury River flooding in Pitt Town, NSW. Photo by David Cotton.
Two ADF helicopters are now on heightened readiness to provide night search and rescue support in the Sydney, Illawarra and Newcastle regions as required, down from three, following the cancellation of need by SES authorities.
Defence is supporting the Penrith, McGrath’s Hill and Greater Newcastle areas and remains responsive to emergency authority requests.
Approximately 250 personnel are supporting clean-up and debris removal.
Personnel have so far assisted with sandbagging, evacuation support and flood gauge reporting.
On July 4, a Navy MH-60R helicopter evacuated three people from a residence isolated by flood waters in Upper Kangaroo Valley, while an Army helicopter was on hand to support an SES boat crew which successfully rescued a person trapped in their car by floodwaters at Luddenham.
On July 5, an Army MRH90 helicopter made multiple attempts to find a group of people in distress near Wiseman’s Ferry. Poor weather prevented a full area search and the helicopter returned to base with no further support requested.
The ADF deployment is in response to state government requirements, coordinated and prioritised through state Emergency Operations Centres. Defence will continue to provide support to NSW SES as required.