ADF continues to support flood response
Photo: Australian Army soldiers from the 6th Aviation Regiment offload stores from an MRH90 Taipan helicopter for communities at Swan Hill, Victoria. Photo: Captain Carolyn Barnett
About 400 ADF personnel have deployed to Victoria to support the whole government’s response to the current flooding event.
The ADF is supporting local authorities with flood-related tasks including sandbagging, transport to isolated families, water diversion and the construction of levees in flood-affected areas including Kerang, Wangaratta, Rochester, Echuca, Shepparton, Seymour, Bendigo and Barmah.
Two CH-47 Chinook helicopters are also assisting with reconnaissance, the evacuation and relocation of communities, lifting and moving heavy equipment, provision and resupply of essential food supplies to isolated communities and provision of feed and fodder for livestock.
In NSW, 20 personnel have deployed to support Moree and a further 20 personnel will deploy to Dubbo from October 21. From October 22 40 personnel will deploy to the Condobolin, Deniliquin, and Hillston areas. An additional helicopter and 20 ADF personnel remain on standby to provide further assistance in NSW if requested.
Commander of Operation Flood Assist support in Victoria, Brigadier Matt Burr, said the clean-up of a Rochester school demonstrated the team effort of volunteers, staff and emergency responders working with the ADF in flood preparations and clean-up areas.
“We continue to be inspired by the communities we are serving and the community response we are seeing across flood-affected areas,” Brigadier Burr said.
“The joint effort inspires the ADF forces to continue to do the work they are doing shoulder to shoulder with emergency responders on the ground as part of that wider team.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews thanked the ADF for their efforts, particularly for their work at Rochester and Seymour schools.
“We are deeply grateful for our partnerships with the federal government and of course its agencies, chief among them the ADF. On behalf of all Victorians, I thank Brigadier Burr and all of his team for the really important work they are doing,” Mr Andrews said.
“We have had ADF here in the state control centre, over a long time period of time, floods and fire and everything in between. Sometimes it’s very specialist skills about logistics and tasking, people who have that very important skill set, all the way through to people who are doing airlifts of cargo, of people and indeed, evacuating people.”
Emergency Management Victoria Deputy Commissioner Chris Stephenson thanked all the emergency service organisations on the ground in flood-affected areas for their efforts so far in the emergency.
The ADF remains postured to provide additional support to State Emergency Services should a request be received via National Emergency Management Australia.