Lending labour to sodden NSW towns
The ADF has deployed additional personnel to Orange, bringing the total number of personnel supporting flood-affected central-west NSW to about 200.
CAPTION: ADF personnel assist council workers to restore the memorial located in Eugowra, NSW, during Operation Flood Assist 22-2. Story by Captain Joanne Leca. Photo by Corporal Madhur Chitnis.
In the township of Eugowra, the ADF is providing manpower to support the State Emergency Services (SES) as they conduct search-and-rescue operations, clean-up of local homes and community recreational areas, sandbagging and community engagement.
Contingent Commander Major Patrick Henriques has been leading the ADF effort in the area, as it provides support to the lead agency SES.
“We’ve been responding to the tasks the SES needs our support in and what we offer them is mass and groups of humans that can get into some manual labour as well as other bespoke tasks that they need us to do,” Major Henriques said.
“We have been helping people recover their destroyed or damaged property to the side of the road to enable the council to [take] it to local tips, in addition to any other jobs they need from our soldiers.”
Major Henriques said, due to the scale of damage the floods caused, they had to act quickly.
“Every single street, every single house has been affected in a pretty significant way,” Major Henriques said.
“We’re helping people who are potentially on their worst day as they sort through their lives, which have been turned upside down by floodwaters.
“One of the greatest aspects of doing activities like this is just that ability to support a community in need.
“And the fact that we can be a support in a time of need is really rewarding.”