ADF personnel continue to assist regional communities across Queensland’s far north devastated by severe floods following Ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper in late December.
CAPTION: An Army landing craft mechanised Mk8 (LCM8) from 10th Force Support Battalion delivers plant equipment to the community of Ayton, Queensland as part of the ADF support to the region following the devastation of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper. Story by Captain Diana Jennings. Photos by Leading Seaman Jarrod Mulvihill.
They have been working alongside government agencies and contracted organisations to help affected communities get back on their feet.
Commanding Officer of Joint Task Unit 629.3.4 Lieutenant Colonel Peita Fraser said the ADF had been supporting in a range of roles, including logistics and planning and using specialist aviation, maritime and engineering capabilities.
“We have maritime, aviation and logistic planning capabilities working together to support equipment movement and resupply,” Lieutenant Colonel Fraser said.
With damaged roads and limited access, the 5th Aviation Regiment Chinooks and 10th Force Support Battalion landing craft have delivered commercial and military equipment to recovery teams.
“Our CH-47F Chinooks have been delivering equipment, personnel and supplies by air, as well as the Army LCM8 landing craft crew working around the clock to transport cargo by sea,” Lieutenant Colonel Fraser said.
“Army engineers have been working alongside partner agencies like Q-Build, helping with the repair and improvements of public infrastructure and clean-up of flood damage.”
CAPTION: An Army CH-47F Chinook delivers plant equipment and additional personnel to the community of Bloomfield, Queensland.
Dianne Grey, Queensland Reconstruction Authority Director Integration and Coordination, said the mammoth team effort had been enabled by the knowledge and support of resilient locals.
“We are impressed by the tenacity of the locals and how local knowledge is enabling us to provide resupply and emergency relief as soon as physically possible,” Ms Grey said.
“The partnerships being forged between local government, local businesses and the state agencies, supported with the invaluable capabilities from the Defence Force, will stand us in good stead for long-term recovery of communities devastated by TC Jasper.
“I’ve seen community members and local businesses go out of their way in tough conditions to bring emergency relief to those in need. When the Defence Force also arrives to help, everyone pulls together as one team. It’s a proud moment for Australians.”
Lieutenant Colonel Fraser said helping each other in times of need was a privilege.
“The Joint Task Unit is composed predominantly of reservists from Queensland’s 11th Brigade and supported by units from the Townsville area, so we are proud to assist our fellow Queenslanders in times of need,” she said.
CAPTION: Commanding Officer Joint Task Unit 629.3.4 Lieutenant Colonel Peita Fraser (right) and Queensland Reconstruction Authority Director of Integration and Coordination Dianne Grey (centre) view the impacted areas along the Bloomfield River where ADF personnel are assisting with the clean-up.