The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, in his capacity as Acting Minister for Defence, has visited the newly established Headquarters Joint Task Force 637 (JTF637) which is conducting Operation Queensland Flood Assist.
Mr Snowdon received briefings from the ADF Commander, Colonel Luke Foster, and his team on the scope of support which the ADF is providing to the Queensland Government-led flood rescue and relief efforts.
Three Blackhawk helicopters from 5th Aviation Regiment, Townsville, have been providing flood relief assistance to Emerald since New Years Eve, through the evacuation of 56 people, air dropping of medical supplies, evacuation of patients from the Emerald hopsital and the dropping of 42 tonnes of food and general supplies to isolated areas. As the situation in Emerald has impoved, the aircraft are now relocating to Rockhampton in anticipation of further flood relief operations.
Additionally, a RAAF C-130 Hercules has been providing relief to the people of central Queensland by delivering temporary accommodation and groceries to flood victims over the past few days. Deep Caption: Operation Queensland Flood Assistance is the ADF’s contribution to the whole-of-government flood rescue and relief efforts, which was initiated in response to the devastating Christmas floods experienced by central Queensland.
“The scale of devastation experienced by the people of central Queensland as a result of these floods saddens me,” Mr Snowdon said, “but in times of crises Australians are renowned for pulling together to help each other out and I note that this crisis is no exception”.
Defence will continue to operate closely with Queensland Emergency Services to provide subject matter expertise, planning and coordination of the ADF support to the civil led flood response.